Bills and budgets: Student senate talks funding

WSU students took a seat in the senate meeting.

Weber State University’s student senate meeting on Jan. 30 focused on bills and funding requests that will be voted on in the near future.

The first bill was introduced by Jessica Dye, the veteran student senator, and it was the virtual voting bill. The proposed bill, which wasn’t voted on during the meeting, aims to allow student senators who give 24-hour advance notice of their absence from a session to vote while attending virtually via Zoom.

The virtual voting bill stipulates that the ability to vote virtually will only be granted to student senators who are unable to attend the physical meeting due to extenuating circumstances such as injury, illness or family emergencies.

Dye said she will be soon adopting her daughter’s baby, and she has an incentive to see the bill passed, as it would mean that she would be able to participate in voting activities while working remotely and taking care of her family.

Dye also noted how the changes proposed in the bill would not only be beneficial to her situation, but also to others who struggle with situations that fall within the circumstances outlined in the bill.

Next, Emily Hiatt, the College of Science senator, presented a funding request to help fund the College of Science’s annual House Party. The funding request, which was presented with an initial ask of $1,800, has received monetary support from the student senate since its inception.

“This has been five years in the running,” Hiatt said. “Every year, the senate has given money.”
Hiatt emphasized the status quo of the student senate being supportive of the College of Science’s annual House Party. However, with the student senate’s dwindling amount of funds available to be given out, the funding request was met with some skepticism.

“Right now, we only have $2,300 in funding left in the total senate budget,” Isaac Staszko, the Housing and Student Life senator, said. “I get that we normally match what the College of Science gives, but that might not be able to be done this year with just how little funding we have.”

The last funding request to be presented during the meeting was presented by African Diaspora student senator Terri Hughes. Hughes said the funding request is meant to be for the NAACP Founder’s Day kickoff event.

The funding request for $1,920 would pay for apparel that would be given out at the event. Conversations between the senators included propositions to slightly decrease the number of apparel items ordered for the event. This funding request is expected to be reconsidered by the student senate during the next meeting on Feb. 6.