In this week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting, discussions about changing conference funding for organizations and compensation for executive members of SGA were held.

During new business, the Student Finance Committee’s (SFC) bylaws were reviewed. SFC will now cover $0.54 per gallon compared to $0.32 per gallon they have covered in previous years and the Educational Programming Appropriations Act (EPAA) fund will go from $30,000 to $20,000 for the 2019-20 academic year.

SFC will also no longer fund cords for graduation and organizations will now have to submit a form on Lancer Link after attending a conference to ensure future conference funding.

Historian Megan Bland moved to add a section in the bylaws stating Recognized Student Organizations (RSO), with the exceptions of National Panhellenic Council (NPHC), Interfraternity Council (IFC), Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) and Sports Club Council (SCC), can only participate in a conference every other year and added that there would be exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

According to Bland, there’s been an increase in conference funding since 2015. Senator Joseph Hyman moved to make a friendly amendment to take out the exceptions of NPHC, IFC, CPC and SCC. A friendly amendment bust be accepted by the original author of a proposal - if it's not accepted on, the amendment becomes unfriendly and must be voted on. Bland did not accept the friendly amendment, making it unfriendly.

Josh Darst, SGA president, said NPHC would not survive without conference funding since attending an annual conference is required. Hyman then moved to change the amendment to take out IFC, CPC and SCC.

Hyman’s unfriendly amendment failed with 11 votes for the amendment, 13 votes against it and nine abstentions which went to the majority, meaning discussion fell back to Bland's original proposed language.

Courtney White, president of SCC, suggested making Bland’s addition recommended language so it is not strict.

After a long debate, the move to add Bland’s change in the bylaws was passed with a 23 to one vote.

The discussion then moved on to Darst presenting the idea of compensating the executive members of SGA. According to Darst, universities such as Radford University and Christopher Newport University give their executive members a form of compensation. Darst added more than 77 percent of schools compensate for their student government associations.

Compensation would come in four equal parts throughout the year in the months of October, December, March and May. Each executive member must meet benchmark requirements in order to receive their stipend.

The SGA president and executive treasurer would receive $500 per semester while the vice president, secretary and historian would receive $300. The executive senators will not be paid since they are appointed by the president.

The money for compensation would come from student activity fees.

Senior Class President suggested this section be added to the SGA constitution since it is voted on by students. Secretary Cheyanne Correa said there is the possibility students would not look at their emails to vote on the constitution since that has been an issue in the past.

After the discussion, the move to add compensation for executive members was passed with 24 votes for it, four votes against it and six abstentions.

The SFC bylaws were then approved with 29 to two vote.

Open forum was not held during the meeting.

LEGO Club and Nursing Honors Society were approved as new organizations.

The next SGA meeting will be held on April 9 at 3:45 p.m. in the Wilson Chamber located on the third floor of Upchurch University Center.

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