The 47th Legislature of the Student Government Association (SGA) voted unanimously to confirm members to the Constitutional Council and decided to table funding for the annual Diwali event hosted by the Indian Cultural Exchange (ICE).
Diwali is an Indian cultural holiday marking the Indian New Year. This year’s ICE event will take place on Nov. 7.
ICE asked SGA to finance the remaining $9,000 of the almost $33,000 it took to fund this year’s event.
Usually, a bill for funding must first go through review by the SGA Finance Committee and then a vote by the Legislature the following week.
In order for a bill to skip Finance Committee review and go straight to a vote by the Legislature, the SGA has to suspend the bylaws.
The Legislature voted against suspending the bylaws and will vote on the bill after a Finance Committee review.
Some graduate legislators said they were concerned about SGA funding the event because ICE asked for too much money, and the bill had not gone through review by the Finance Committee.
Full-time MBA Goizueta Business School student David Kaplan said he does not believe SGA has the sufficient funds to finance the bill and that ICE should have come to SGA sooner.
SGA has about $11,000 left in its operating budget.
“[The bill not] going through the rigor of a finance review seems backwards,” Kaplan said.
He added that he did not believe SGA would be able to fund all of the requested $9,000.
College sophomore and SGA sophomore legislator Ami Fields-Meyer responded by saying that he thinks it is SGA’s job to support on-campus organizations like ICE.
Kaplan also said he thinks SGA should be a last-resort option for clubs and that the money ought to be reserved for events that are accessible to the whole University.
Fields-Meyer said that almost no groups on campus cater to the entire University other than SGA and Emory’s Student Programming Council (SPC).
SGA recommended that ICE ask other divisional councils for funding before next week’s meeting and revise the bill to include line-items to specify what exactly it wants SGA to fund.
SGA also unanimously confirmed Shannon Proctor (2L) and Allen Woods (2L) as associate justices for the Constitutional Council, a body of students that oversees hearings and questions of constitutionality.
In addition to ICE Diwali, next week SGA will vote on bills to fund shuttles to the airport for Thanksgiving break and a TEDxEmory speaker event.
– By Rupsha Basu
Photo by Bahar Amalfard