The second legislature of the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) convened on March 19 to fund the Taste of Africa event and discuss a potential “spring fling” for all graduate students.
The legislature unanimously approved African Students Association (ASA)’s request for $2,665.
“It brings people from different backgrounds to be able to experience our culture through different performances, food [and] other forms of talent,” ASA Treasurer Onyi Ohamadike (16Ox, 18C) said.
Ohamadike said that ASA plans to hold the event on April 6 at the Fox Theater to accommodate for up to 480 people. ASA held last year’s event in the Emory Conference Center Hotel and in the Cox Hall Ballroom in previous years.
The total cost of the event is expected to be $17,021, according to Ohmadike. Some of the event cost will be recovered through revenue from $12 tickets for Emory students and staff, but ASA has already secured funding from Student Government Association (SGA), the Office of the President, Emory Dining and others.
Vice President of Social Affairs Claire Allen (18B) and Deputy Vice President of Social Affairs Sakinah Watts (19B) proposed a “spring fling” event for all graduate students.
The proposed event would use surplus money that was placed in a contingency fund last year due to possible emergencies arising from the referendum that split student government into autonomous graduate and undergraduate bodies.
“It’s looking like we’re not going to have any emergencies,” Vice President of Finance Deepa Raju (18B) said.
The fund will not be replenished until the end of the summer.
Multiple legislators questioned whether it made sense to allocate $7,200 toward headphone rentals for a silent disco. Some GSGA members thought the price was high for headphones, especially because the $7,200 does not include a DJ.
The vote count to begin signing contracts with vendors was 11-2.
Legislators Sydney Kaplan (19L) and Elyse Cooke (20T) voted against the bill, arguing that the bill was not fiscally responsible.
“We didn’t have to use our contingency [funds],” Cooke said.
Kaplan also noted the event occurs before Law School students take exams, and she didn’t expect many law students to be able to attend.
The event is currently scheduled for either April 20 or April 27 at 7 p.m.
Raju also gauged interest from the legislators in changing the finance code to allow families of graduate students to attend events funded from allocated accounts. Allocated accounts are funded through the $92 per semester Student Activities Fee (SAF).
Raju said that GSGA has already been permitting students’ families to attend events funded from allocated accounts. Multiple legislators expressed interest in changing the finance code to reflect the pattern of accepting families.