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Don’t write the university a blank check

The Student Government Association will vote Monday on the most important legislation they have had in over three years: a proposal that would disperse $1.5 million in student fee money to the majority of student services departments on campus.

More than $900,000 of the money will be given to departments, with no current plan for what the departments will do with the additional funding, and $600,000 will be going into the general operating budget of the university.

Senators: as representatives of the student body, you have the obligation to act as good stewards of student money. Pulling a $1.5 million check from the pocket of the student body violates this duty, as there are no plans for where the money will go.

This legislation strips students of the voice they were uniquely provided in the original Student Success Act. This legislation was drafted with little research about where the funds should go, and instead arbitrarily gives multiple thousands to services that didn’t even request it, and currently have no plans for its use. This legislation literally gives $4,440 directly to the university in actually check form to be used “as the university sees fit.” Ultimately, this legislation provides no accountability mechanisms for the money being given to the departments or to the administration.

For all these reasons, you have a duty to vote no.

Until there is further information collected, specifically a detailed plan as to what additional funds will go toward, and widespread student input on what the students feel is best, it is unethical and reckless for the Senate to pass this legislation.

Avoid the unnecessary feeling of immediacy surrounding this bill and do everything in your power to ensure that you are doing what is truly best for the student body.

Do not let your legacy be a rash decision that ignored the best interest of students.

Students: your voice was already taken away four years ago when 15 students took it upon themselves to speak on behalf of students, without consulting them after publically promising that their input would be widely heard.

This current proposal takes away even more voice from students. If this bill is passed, not even the senators who approved it will have a say in where the money goes.

Do not allow SGA to vote your opinion out of existence for a second time.

Call, text, FaceBook message your senators. Go to Monday’s SGA meeting in Blum 220 at 5:30 p.m., and make your thoughts heard. Tell them that you still deserve a voice in where $1.5 million of your own money should go. Don’t let them strip you of that right again.

Perhaps, if students, student services departments and SGA can all work together to achieve a mutually beneficial provision for SSA, then senators can enact that plan. But that time is not now.

The legacy of SSA is already a controversial and notorious one.

This is the last time we can rewrite it for the better.

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