Student Senate adds a non-Senator position to the Student Office of Sustainability Commission

Senate approves Hmong Student Association’s one-time request for $2000


Photo by Kendall Ruchti

Student Senate passed two bills Monday night. Senators approved revisions to Student Office of Sustainability bylaws as well as a $2000 special allocation to fund the Hmong Student Association’s Culture Core held March 7.

Student Senate voted to revise the Student Office of Sustainability bylaws to allow more non-Senator positions to serve on the SOS commission.

The bill addressed an issue the SOS board has had of having to turn away interested non-Senator members due to lack of room on the commission, Senator Ethan Fuhrman said.

Now, up to six non-Senators can serve on the commission with the new bylaw changes, Fuhrman said, who’s been serving on the commission since spring of 2014. Previously only five non-Senators could serve with up to six Senators on the board.

The changes also require the management intern of SOS to lead a committee for other interested students to serve on where they can contribute ideas and review proposals. The intern would then share these student thoughts at the SOS board meeting, Director of Student Office of Sustainability, Maria Delgado Gomez said.

As more students become interested in sustainability, Delgado Gomez said they made the changes needed when drafting the legislation although there will likely be more changes to come.

“We’d rather not turn them away and rather have them get involved,” Delgado Gomez said.

As a former SOS commission member, Director of Academic Affairs, Mathew Riedel, said he supports the bill.

“I know they actively turned away a lot of students who wanted to be on the board who were not Senators,” Riedel said.

The bill passed 23-0-3.

Senate then approved a $2000 one-time special allocation request from the Hmong Student Association to cover the costs of this year’s Culture Core, which HSA presented March 7 in Davies.

Director of the Finance Commission, Mary-Laura Samples, said HSA was not able to cover the cost of Culture Core this year because it didn’t request funds for this fiscal year. They were planning to use the ending balance for Fiscal 2015 to pay for the event and assumed the balance would carry over to the next year, Samples said.

As director of the Campus Affairs Commission, Colton Ashley said it’s the job of his commission to ensure there aren’t any misunderstandings among organizations.

“We need to have a pertinent task to remind the organizations to apply for funding and that their funds will be pulled back at the end of fiscal years, whatever they don’t use,” Ashley said.

HSA has already applied for funding for next year, Ashley said in support of the bill, so Senators shouldn’t expect the organization to request a special allocation next year.

If HSA didn’t receive the special allocation to cover costs of food and workshops at Culture Core, the organization would have to eliminate other experiences offered to students, Samples said.

“Their mission would be impeded on if they did not receive these funds,” Samples said, referring to HSA’s mission statement she included in the bill, which states the purpose is to provide networking experiences and promote awareness of Hmong culture.

Student Body Vice President, Jordan Mabin, said he supports the bill because he doesn’t want the organization to lose out on opportunities.

“When talking about segregated fees and how they are allocated I definitely look at high impact practices and I think this will allow for other high impact practices that will help further students,” Mabin said.

The bill passed with a vote of 22-1-3. The $2000 will be pulled from the account for special reserves.