Potential GAF increase debate closed

 

 Money conversation has been struck up again by the Students’ Association. Resolution 14-03-R, a recommendation that would support an increase in the general activity fee by up to $1.50 per credit hour was presented to the new senate on Monday, April 28. The increase would fund the maintenance of the new stadium. 

If a GAF increase does occur, it would not apply until the 2017 fiscal year. Due to time constituents, tabling the resolution was not possible. The motion to postpone the resolution was passed 17 to 11, to have an impromptu meeting with President David Chicoine. 

“Seeing the things we get from the administration … this is a pretty big chunk of change we could be giving them [athletics],” said Sen. Ben Kamrath in Monday’s meeting. 

According to Students’ Association President Caleb Finck, members of the executive board and the new senate were to meet with President Chicoine Wednesday, April 30 to negotiate. After consideration, the meeting was called off to prioritize issues before a GAF were decided. 

“I have not been feeling great about the meeting,” Finck said. “I didn’t feel there would be a healthy discussion. President Chicoine was OK with cancelling the meeting.” 

Finck and the senate plan to gather priorities of the students so if a GAF increase occurs, the funds will go to someone of student interest. The stadium will be one of the items discussed. 

Finck has also asked SA adviser Marysz Rames to ask President Chicoine to help fund a new counselor or staff member for the Veteran Resource Center, which are among the interests of the senate along with the Wellness Center expansion. 

On Sunday, April 27, the newly elected senate reviewed documents that were previously presented to the old senate about the stadium for two-and-a-half hours. Resolution 14-03- R was written Monday morning and sent out to senators at approximately 1:00 p.m., giving sponsors of the resolution just hours to read it. 

“The executive board has been in conversation [about the resolution] … in order to get the senate up to date, we had to push this off as long as we could,” said Finance Chair Matt Dahle. 

Finck and other executive members helped the new senate with the stadium information to be prepared for the resolution. 

“We weren’t ready to write [the resolution] until yesterday (Monday),” Finck said. “I apologize if it felt rushed.” 

According to Dahle, with a new senate elected, they were given the 

 

 opportunity to write a resolution supporting a GAF increase. 

13-08-R, a resolution passed by the previous senate, said that SA will strongly consider a GAF increase. This sought that a proper recommendation from the UAFBC be given, and that all the steps for a GAF increase were to be made appropriately. The resolution is now dead because a new senate has been sworn in according to Finck.

At the Monday meeting, letters from a former Students’ Association President and Regent Joe Schartz were read to the senate, giving their stance on raising the GAF. Tensions ran high as senators were getting off topic. 

“Everyone got so enthralled in the topic of what was going to happen … [They forgot that it was a discussion,” said Public Relations Officer Jacob Sutton.

A variety of opinions were expressed by the senators about the resolution and a GAF increase.

“This [the resolution] is something I personally believe in the long run will benefit students,” said Vice President Courtland McCranie.

At Monday night’s meeting, Sen. Corey Chicoine expressed his views on the topic. 

“This decision is above all of our heads … this resolution was sent to us today,” Chicoine said.

With time constituents being a concern, Finck feels relief with having more time to make a decision.

“We asked him for more time … he’s (President Chicoine) honoring it,” Finck said.