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There must still be oversight

These are some pages that I laid out and designed for the Griffon News. The first one is a Valentine’s Day-themed page about online dating. The second is one an opinions page that I laid out at the time of the 2016 Missouri Presidential Primary.

We at the Griffon News stand by our reporting of the SSA proposal in last week’s issue.
We asked some tough questions and explored different aspects of the proposal. In the end, we wereen’t satisfied with the answers we received and felt that the SSA proposal did not benefit students in a clear and demonstrative way.
We did our jobs.
It’s okay to disagree with us. It happens.
SGA did just that on Monday by passing the proposal 17-0-1.
Maybe the money will be used in a way to benefit students. Who knows? And that’s the problem.

You should check to find out where this money is going and how it is being spent.
You should track it down and hold those accountable who spend.

The first step is to find out where student money is going.

Find out where the money is going.
Follow the money.
The Griffon News will do its best to figure it out as well, but

This means that over the next three years, $1.5 million will be allocated without student approval.

Let’s keep in mind

Student Success Act funds have now been allocated for the next three years.
While the 3-year, $1.5 million proposal may have been passed SGA by a 17-0-1 vote, now comes the hard part: making sure that student money is used for students.
While it may be easy to forget about that money as just a matter of fact now that the bill has passed, there must still be oversight.
Senators, you have the responsibility to ensure that SSA funds are used wisely and those who spend them are held accountable.
As stewards of the student voice and by extension, SSA money, SGA has the responsibility to figure out where student money is going. Requesting the budgets and expenses of the departments now covered by SSA is an important first step to encourage transparency.
As the ones giving these departments these additional funds, SGA has the right to request that information. SGA’s Financial Oversight Committee does that when student organizations request money, so departments should be held to the same standards. SGA did not request how the money would be spent before giving out the money, but SGA can still do that in the future and ensure that student money is used for students.
And SGA must do this. Without providing this sort of oversight, SGA will have no idea how the student money they gave away is being spent.
Another step that SGA must take is finding out where the money that the SSA proposal saves the university is going. As student fees covers $195,560 in department expenses that were being covered by the university, it would to know where that money is going.
In discussions about the recent SSA proposal it was argued that the saved money would go to benefit students. However, as that money is actually placed into the operational budget, it would be interesting to see where that money is really going. This may prove very difficult since the $195,560 in university savings will end up being swallowed by the massive operational budget and nearly impossible to trace. With help from the administration, maybe this could be figured out. Either way, students deserve to know.
These two steps will enhance transparency and accountability for SSA funds. As SSA is reviewed annually and may be revised after three years, the information gathered now and over the next few years will be make-or-break for this SSA proposal.

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