Graduate Student Funding, Attendance Uneven for SGA Events

The 50th Legislature of Student Government Association (SGA) convened Monday night for an extended discussion of disproportionate SGA funding allocated to undergraduate events, an issue brought up in the SGA roundtable earlier this month. Additionally, SGA discussed supplemental funding for Emory Indian Cultural Exchange (ICE)’s Diwali event and funding for the Emory Reproductive Health Association’s (ERHA) Health Equity in Sexual and Reproductive Health conference.

After pressure from legislators following the last legislative session, SGA Speaker of the Legislature Justin Sia extended the body’s discussion period to thoroughly discuss disproportionate funding contributions between divisions.

SGA Attorney General and first year Emory Law School student Tayler Bolton presented on funding policies in SGA’s constitution, and SGA Vice President of Finance and Business School senior Jason Yu presented on SGA’s monetary code. The presentations came in response to legislators’ requests in the Oct. 3 legislative session for a review of SGA bylaws related to funding criteria.

SGA Senior Legislator and College senior Crystal McBrown called for more information on the attendance breakdown in events receiving SGA funding.

“I’d be surprised if graduate student attendance was proportionate to their funding contribution,” McBrown said.

Bolton referenced graduate student legislators’ complaints that their constituents contribute more to SGA than they benefit from SGA-funded events.

Yu announced that of the $9,100.09 at SGA’s funding discretion per semester last year, $6,920.62 (76 percent) was contributed by undergraduates and $2,179.47 (24 percent) by graduate students.

“Based on the 10,279 student ID card swipes at Student Programming Council (SPC) events last year, undergraduates constituted 92 percent of attendees and graduate students 6.3 percent,” Greenbaum said in response to McBrown. Of the funds at SGA’s discretion last year, 24 percent was contributed by graduate students.

ICE Co-presidents College juniors Rahul Nair and Sameera Sabharwal submitted Bill 50sl10, which requests that SGA allocate $3,000 for the event. Seven hundred students, mostly undergraduates, will attend the event. The total event cost was $37,000 in 2014.

ERHA Co-president and Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) senior Pallavi Trikutam and SGA President and College senior Max Zoberman submitted Bill 50sl11, which requests that SGA allocate $1,500 in funding for the conference. Hosted by the RSPH, the conference will be open to all divisions of the University and will focus on equity in sexual and reproductive health.

SGA will vote on both bills at the Oct. 24 legislative meeting.

Chief of Staff and College senior Julianna Joss announced that the SGA body will march with, and bear witness to the testimonials of, victims of sexual violence at Take Back the Night Oct. 24.

“This will be the first time we’ve had full governmental representation at Take Back the Night,” Zoberman said. “The Campus Climate Report may indicate that sexual violence [on campus] is down, but it’s not eradicated.”

 

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