The student senate discusses dwindling funds


Kennedy Camarena

WSUSA Executive Vice President Garrett Potokar speaking to attendees of the student senate meeting on Jan. 30. during the most recent senate meeting on Feb. 13 there were many conversations about financial concerns as budgets are dwindling.

The senate meetings on Feb. 6 and Feb. 13 were centered around discussions of how the student senate will dispense the available funding to other parties on campus who request assistance. Conversation focused on how the senators can remain responsible heralds of their budget money, which is at least partially composed of money allocated from student fees.

“In senate, we are dealing with thousands of dollars of student fees and I believe we should be taking that money very seriously,” Elise Waikart, the College of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology senator, said.

Waikart said it is essential the senators, as a group, ask the hard questions and give the appropriate amount of consideration to their constituents when voting on funding requests brought to the Senate floor.

During the Feb. 6 meeting, a funding request from the College of Science that was presented in the prior legislative session was revisited. The funding request for their annual house party event was tabled to be voted on during the meeting on Feb. 13 so the total amount asked could be revised in light of the senate’s dwindling budget and to allow the College of Science more time to seek funding from other resources.

When it came time to revisit the College of Science’s funding request, College of Science Senator Emily Hiatt asked Executive Vice President Garrett Potokar what the remaining budget was. Potokar confirmed the budget at that time was $368.18.

With further consideration being made for the senate’s budget at the time, Hiatt asked that the total amount of money in the funding request be amended to $150. After the total amount was amended, the funding request was unanimously passed. After passing the College of Science’s funding request, the amount of funds available to the senators for funding requests for the rest of the semester is down to just over $200.

In legislation news, the senate meetings on Feb. 6 and Feb. 13 featured lengthy discussions about the specifics of the bill introduced by Veteran Student Senator Jessica Dye during the meeting on Jan. 30. The bill would allow student senators to participate as voting members of a legislative session through attending virtually due to an emergency or extenuating circumstance.

During the meeting on Feb. 6, concerns were voiced about the technicalities of making a virtual option viable in terms of making sure that senators attending meetings virtually will be able to fully participate. A motion was successfully made to table voting on the bill until the Feb. 13 meeting.

When it came time to vote on the virtual voting bill during the meeting on Feb. 13, it was again tabled until the next legislative session. Since President’s Day is on Feb. 20, the next legislative session will take place on Feb. 27.