General Activity Fee debate takes SA meeting into overtime

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Students’ Association’s Monday night meeting was a historic one. Senators and others in attendance debated several issues, namely SA’s GAF proposal, until midnight, with only two short recesses.

Administration has proposed a GAF (general activity fee) increasing of $5.57 and SA is forming a proposal of how the university could allocate these funds.

SA voted unanimously to approve an amended version of their GAF proposal after a long debate. The amendments included moving 17 cents from the Union/Wellness Center M&R Funds to the Tier 2 budgets and acknowledging that the Office of Multicultural Affairs falls under this budget, with the intent of the extra funds assisting this group. Senators also moved $3.07 of the GAF increase to fiscal year, 18 from FY19, for the proposal.

SA passed two other resolutions, 16-12-R and 16-14-R, showing their support of President Barry Dunn’s Wokini Initiative and a mixed-fee method for the bond and utility fee, respectively.

President Dunn’s Wokini Initiative seeks to provide programming and support for Native American students. Administration has proposed to move the B&U fee, which is currently assessed on all meal plans, to the GAF; whereas SA proposes a mixed-fee method, collecting the B&U fee from both meal plan costs and the GAF.

Three more people were nominated for the presidential slate, bringing the count to four tickets this election. However, Brianna Doran and Cole Hinz, nominated for president and vice president respectively, later decided not to run, according to Hinz.

The lineup stands as follows:

 

• Vice President Lane Speirs for president, and Programming and Public Relations Chair Kirby Krogstad as vice president.

• Sen. Irakoze Naftari for president and Sen. Seth Gutz for vice president.

• President Ally Helms received the presidential nomination, with State and Local Government Chair Taylin Albrecht for her VP.

 

Senate petitions were due in the Students’ Association Office, Tuesday. Campaigning season now begins.

The SA election for president and vice president, as well as college senators, will be March 21 and 22. The Collegian will have an election put together in the week coming up to the election.

During new business, SA approved a club constitution for I Am That Girl, as well as special allocation requests for Political Science Club, Chemistry Club and FIRE Club. SA also approved a new venture request for Human Powered Vehicle Club (HPVC).

Isaiah Croatt, a candidate for the Brookings City Council, spoke to senators during the Open Forum portion of the meeting. He announced to senators he plans to represent students, since he is 19 years old, and one focus of his platform is to improve the lack of affordable housing for students through various mediums, such as better public transportation. 

The next SA meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 13 in the Lewis and Clark room in The Union.