The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Student Senate bylaw changes proposed

Amendments to  the finance commission bylaws were introduced at Monday’s Student Senate meeting for the purpose of establishing auditing procedures for student organizations. Supporters say this will be an appropriate step to hold organizations more accountable as well as ensure student fees are being properly used.

The changes to the bylaws were introduced by Finance Commission Director Bryan Larson as the third legislative item on the schedule for the first meeting of the semester.

The changes include the appointment of a finance intern to act as an auditor, who will answer to the director of the finance commission. The auditor would be in charge of going through student organizations’ expenditures at random via a queue system, and maintaining a detailed report.

If discrepancies in the organization’s spending patterns are found, the bylaw amendment states the finance commission will, “review the organization’s status per their bylaws and take appropriate action.”

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“The main purpose (of amending the bylaws) is to ensure we know what happens to our money after it’s allocated,” Larson said.

Currently, Student Senate does not have any oversight in student segregated fees allocated annually, Larson explained. The amount of segregated fees allocated by Senate comes out to about$4 million.

“There has … been a general feeling that in the past we’ve needed more oversight,” Larson said. “And looking to the future, this is just something that really makes sense and really makes sure the students get their bucks’ worth.”

Student Body President Corydon Fish said it will be several weeks before an auditor is chosen, since the finance commission and others will have to create an auditing procedure first.

Part of this process is also setting up strict criteria for the auditor as well as clearly defining the auditing process itself.
“We can’t not give you money because we don’t like your mission,” Fish said. “That’s not being viewpoint-neutral. So the reason why you need strict criteria for the auditor is to ensure that at no time is the auditor being biased based on their own

UC resolution debated

In addition to amending the finance bylaws, a resolution was introduced and voted on at the meeting. The resolution, at over 30 pages, contained proposed suggestions for reforming United Council activates in what proponents thought would better serve the Eau Claire student body.

After a lengthy debate, the resolution was passed 25-1 by a roll call vote.

Senator Libby Richter was one of the senators that argued against the resolution, although she was the only one to actually vote against it.

“I was concerned that (the resolution) would become something more … binding, or possibly step to another referendum,” Richter said. “I was concerned with what the ulterior motive might have been.”

Several others, including Vice President Patrick Martin and  Senator Stephen Fisher said that the resolution was not intended as an attack on United Council, but a reaction to student concerns.

Senator Jacob Fishbeck believes United Council’s performance has been “shaky at best” and the organization does not have a solid record for performance.

“I believe no organization is infallible and United Council is no exception,” said Fishbeck.

The finance bylaw changes will be voted on at 6 p.m. next Monday when the Student Senate meets in the Dakota Ballroom on the third floor of the W.R. Davies Center.

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Student Senate bylaw changes proposed