Purdue Student Government’s first meeting on Wednesday saw the approval of a new small-grant coordinator post but failed to adopt PSG budget for 2022–23 owing to procedural issues.
PSG budget session discussion
On Wednesday night, the 2022–23 budget was up for discussion. The fall retreat, where numerous student organizations gather and take part in seminars and networking opportunities, received a $5,000 budget. According to PSG President Andrew Jensen, PSG is legally required to pay to attend the event. To pay for the small grants program, money was also redistributed.
Due in large part to the fact that many Senators were unaware of the expenditure until that particular meeting. The $5,000 ended up being the stumbling block that would lead to the budget resolution’s failure and raise concerns about PSG’s transparency from senators.
Press Secretary Briefing on PSG Budget session
Every year, (PSG and other organizations) hold a fall retreat, but for the past few years, due to COVID. They have had to attend meetings on campus instead, according to PSG Press Secretary Evan Chrise. “So it will need more networking with various groups,” said the speaker. Before the meeting, there was ambiguity on this aspect of the budget. Chrise remarked, “I’m not exactly clear why (the senate) wasn’t aware of it.
PSG President briefing on Budget session
Due to a lack of information, some senators voiced a wish to reduce the cost of the fall retreat. President Pro-Tempore Eleanor Diddona stated. “Just to be clear, we are contractually bound to pay for 112 people before the senate even gave approval.”
Jensen noted that the choice was reached by a vote of the cabinet throughout the summer. Senator Syndey Terrell, however, had a different perspective.
Because it was $9,000 more than what we allocated the previous year. Terrell’s biggest worry was the amount of money set aside for retreat expenses. Particularly after learning that 5,000 of those funds had already been allocated without the Senate ever having seen a budget in any manner.
Senator Terrrel’s Comments about PSG Budget session
Terrell also expressed reservations about the cabinet vote in July. Terrell added, “I understand that the administration made the choice over the summer, but the constitution prohibits them from making expenditures without the Senate’s consent.
When asked when the Senate first learned of the idea, Terrell responded that it wasn’t until today’s meeting. Terrell recommended a change that would reallocate $3,000 of the money designated for internal spending to various senate committee monies.
I redistributed the money to groups I believe will have a bigger impact on the student body. Terrell remarked. We participated in all Senate standing committees as well as the committees on sustainability, government affairs, diversity, equality, and inclusion.
PSG Advisor Marta King
The total amount in PSG’s 2022-2023 budget is $110,529. According to PSG advisor Martia King, PSG members can utilize a portion of that budget for internal costs. Such as meals and networking activities like the fall retreat. Even though the majority of it is being used for events and programs. PSG placed a limit on internal spending for the entire year of $19,000.
“The overall allocation (for internal expenses) for the previous year was $10,000. $5,000 of the $19,000 overall grant this year will fund the fall retreat, according to Terrell.
The senate “had no option” and the expenditure “was required,” according to Terrell, so $5,000 for one occasion seemed like “a bit much.”
The amendment to lower the funding allotted for events was finally passed after several procedural problems in the senate surfaced and Vice-President Izzy Weber had to repeatedly pause to clarify the parliamentary procedure.
Before submitting a new amendment to the measure, another senator stated her dissatisfaction with the budget.
Senator Claire Boham in PSG Budget session
Senator Claire Bohman stated, “I would like to convey my personal unhappiness with the budget. We believed that because money had been committed, we were essentially pushed into that situation.
Bohman then put up a change that would make the budget completely accessible to all Purdue students.
Bohman said, “PSG and Purdue as a whole need to have greater accountability and I think it’s amazing to actually exhibit accountability through our own organization.
PSG would do more than simply “publish all the facts on the website without context,” she continued.
After that, the topic shifted to the practicalities of updating the budget, and a new proposal to update it quarterly was made. While the majority of people agreed, some people were less sure of the proposal.
Just a word of caution, Jensen said: “Anything we put out there could be taken out of context. “Be aware that you may be opening a can of worms.”
In response to Jensen’s statement, Chrise noted that frequently, when a dispute or incident occurs at PSG, people on Reddit will post comments about it without fully understanding the circumstances.
“It can be a little challenging for us as PSG members because we are trying to do what we believe is best for the student body and it kind of bothers us to see kids talk about it like that,” he added.
The change to the amendment was approved after additional debates about the meeting’s procedure. With 23 votes in favor and one against, the amendment now stipulates that the overall budget will be available on the PSG website and updated quarterly.
Although the modifications were accepted, neither pro tempore suggested that the bill succeed. With two voting in favor, six voting against, and 16 abstaining, the budget proposal was defeated. This implies that PSG won’t have a budget until they vote on a fresh budget proposal at their subsequent meeting in two weeks.
Even if the budget had been approved, Chrise noted, “it would still need two readings.” Therefore, even if it had been accepted, it would still need to be done at the following meeting.
Chrise commented that the parliamentary difficulties that were prevalent throughout the discussion were rather typical for the first meeting of the year. Since our vice president is also new, there will undoubtedly be some growing pains. However, I believe that making mistakes is the best way to learn.
Chrise also mentioned how helpful the new parliamentarian who was appointed later in the meeting will be.
The appointments of numerous members of Jensen’s cabinet, as well as new legislator Julia Hamblen, were then accepted by PSG senators.
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