The Shippensburg University 2014-2015 Student Senate convened for the last time on April 23, to vote on the budgets for SU’s student organizations and to swear in the next academic year’s senate members.
The senators voted in favor of all nine motions that determined the funding of every senate-recognized organization on campus.
The 2015-2016 SU Student Services, Inc. (SUSSI) budget shows more than $175,000 was cut from the current year’s budget. Due to the reduction in appropriations funding, the activity fee students pay every semester is expected not to increase.
The majority of clubs and organizations faced anywhere from a 1 percent reduction to a little more than 25 percent.
The last motion senate passed was for increased athletics funding, despite nine votes against it and two abstentions.
The 2015-2016 athletics budget is $2,020,994, an increase of more than $21,000. Though $40,000 was cut from four of the seven areas, additional appropriations were allotted for meals, transportation and athlete accident insurance.
According to Kevin Rezac, outgoing Student Senate treasurer, due to an increase in athlete injuries, money is going to be invested into hiring trainers. The action is expected to save money over time.
On April 16, Student Senate voted in favor of a pilot program that gives the athletics department control over distributing its budget.
“[It is] placing the day-to-day responsibility for the administration athletic department SUSSI allocated budget under the management of the athletic department,” Rezac said at the meeting.
The pilot program launches July 1, 2015, and ends June 30, 2018, during which SUSSI and the Student Senate will oversee the financial decisions of the athletics department. Student Senate reserves the power to end the program at anytime if it sees it is not working.
The decision was made in part for SU to be more compliant with Title IX regulations, which ensure equality for athletes of both genders.
The program will also streamline the budget, give more flexibility to the department and lift potential liability off the shoulders of SUSSI and the Student Senate, according to Rezac.
By nature, sports teams need more flexibility, Rezac said. He noted the decision was a solution to a problem that had been ongoing for years.
The athletics budget, while a major focal point of last Thursday’s meeting, was not the only highlight.
Student Senate voted to officially recognize two clubs. The Food Recovery Network Club was approved with no opposition, and Reach Out was approved with three votes against the motion.
After all motions were voted on in the 21-minute meeting, the 2015-2016 Student Senate members were sworn into office.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead you,” said Nicholas Johnson, outgoing Student Senate president.
Johnson read the oath of office to president-elect Dominic Giovanniello, who eagerly accepted. Giovanniello’s first action was to swear in the rest of the new members.
“I am excited to be here,” Giovaniello said. “You all did a wonderful job.”
The rest of the Student Senate Executive Board consists of Traci Moyer as vice president, Justin Schneider as treasurer and Kayla Lawson as secretary.
“I look forward to working with all of you, and God speed,” said Darrell Miller, the student association fiscal officer.