Senate Discusses GAF Spending, electric scooters, Rabbit Ride


Jacob Boyko, News Editor

At the Feb. 27 Students’ Associations meeting, senators discussed GAF spending, debated electric scooters and a Rabbit Ride expansion and nominated students for awards. 

Jennifer Novotny, senior director for the University Student Union, overviewed how general activity fees, or GAF, is used to support the building’s operations. For the 2022-2023 school year, GAF is set at $50.85 per credit hour. According to the breakdown of GAF spending on SDSU’s website, the Student Union receives $15.19 per credit hour. Therefore, a student enrolled in a 12-credit semester with on-campus classes contributes $182.28 each semester for the Student Union’s operations.

 Novotny further broke down specific GAF spending in the Student Union. $5.24 is allocated for the “overall Student Union,” $1.40 for operations, $2.58 to cover the bond and insurance for the building, $3.69 for maintenance and repair, 12¢ for career development GAF replacement and another 67¢ for orientation GAF replacement.   

Operating expenses include lights, water, garbage, and salary and benefits for staff and student workers. 

“We do get metered,” Novotny said about the Student Union’s utility expenses. “We do share a portion of our natural gas with our food service partners because they use primarily a larger portion than the regular throws of the buildings.” 

The Senate unanimously approved the constitution for the American Institute of Architecture Students. AAIS “aims to promote excellence in architectural education, training and practice,” “foster an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines” and to combine students’ “efforts to advance the art and science of architecture,” according to the club constitution. 

The SDSU chapter will be part of the larger nationwide coalition. The club will collect local membership dues as well as national dues. 

The Senate also unanimously approved the constitution for the Pakistan Students’ Association. The club plans to host events featuring sports, food and entertainment from Pakistani culture. 


The Senate debated and eventually approved a resolution to support the implementation of electric scooters on campus and within the city of Brookings. The Senate debated the safety of the scooters, plans for winter operation and preventative measures to decrease the number of potential DUIs. 

Sen. Nick Grote, the bill’s prime sponsor, said the goal is to provide affordable transportation for those who may not have access to it. 

“We want to keep this affordable to pretty much everyone,” Grote said. “It’s about a $1 fee … then about 15¢ to 30¢ per minute after.”

Sen. Abhinav Kubal supported the resolution, but cautioned the Senate about the risks of the scooters around town.

“I’ve taken my scooter to Walmart, but I would not advise anyone else to do that,” Kubal said. “It’s dangerous because you are on your tiny scooter with huge SUVs on the road that can flatten you … Brookings is a very pedestrian-friendly city until it snows.”

The Senate debated and tabled Resolution 22-28-R, which requested University President Barry Dunn fund Rabbit Ride with discretionary funds from alcohol sales from athletic events. 

The resolution was tabled to produce an estimation of the cost of adding an additional night to the Rabbit Ride service. 

Other Business:

President Blake Pulse announced a new scoreboard implementation committee. The committee will work with university administration to put up a scoreboard visible from the student section at the Dana J. Dykhouse stadium after Sen. Trinity Peterson brought up concerns about ADA accessibility with the current setup. 

Communications Chair Garrett Satterly announced the communications committee has decided on a theme for the SA 2023 election. 

“Your Vote, Your Voice,” Satterly said. “This is really our effort to get at least 10% of the student population to vote in the 2023 election.” 

The election gear will be branded with the campaign, Satterly said.

Diversity Liaison Harley Fischer proposed her position be a paid role in the next student administration. 

“Diversity is an essential component of our university,” Fischer said. “If we want to continue to provide a welcoming environment at SDSU and a place for all our students to call home, I think we need to look at fully funding the executive position of diversity liaison … I am truly disappointed in the decision of the finance committee choosing to disregard SDSU’s core mission.”

Adonai Ghebrekidan, president of the Black Student Alliance, expressed support for Fischer’s proposal later in the meeting. 

The Senate also opened up nominations for the Senator of the Year award. Vice President Anna Shane nominated Senator-at-Large Hayden Bentz. 

“Senator Bentz … came in as an ambitious freshman with a really ambitious platform early in the fall and was ready to take on whatever came his way,” Shane said. 

Sen. Hunter Eide nominated Fischer for the award. 

“I think we can all attest to [her] impact throughout this past year, creating a welcoming environment and doing a phenomenal job of setting up a great start to the first year of the diversity liaison position,” Eide said. 

Satterly nominated Senator-at-Large Hannah Dayaget. 

“Senator Dayaget came in as a freshman during our at-large process (when seats were left vacant in some academic colleges and are filled by the members of the general student body), and really kind of jumped in and got to know the students of SDSU and got to know the process of the Students’ Association,” Satterly said. 

Sen. Will Kessler nominated College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Sen. Michael Garofalo. 

“He’s a really hard worker and has been here a really long time and knows how the whole system works,” Kessler said. “Whenever anyone comes into the Students’ Association office wondering what’s going on and asking questions, I kind of panic, and I look to the side and Michael’s there and he always has the answers.”

The Senate also nominated ex officios for the Ex Officio of the Year Award. Peterson nominated Joseph Ulloa, the ex officio for the Latin American Students’ Association. 

Fischer nominated Ghebrekidan, BSA’s ex officio.

Kessler nominated Matthew Schwarz, ex officio for the Genders and Sexualities Alliance.