SGA provides budget updates, amends by-laws in recent general assembly

Gauri Raje, News Editor

In last week’s General Assembly, the Student Government Association (SGA) provided updates to its annual budget and amended its by-laws. 

The meeting started with an update from SGA President Jasmin Paquet-Durand Ford, who encouraged members to apply for executive positions without hesitation, adding that anyone interested should reach out to her in order to get a full picture of the responsibilities that come with the different positions. 

Updates from Vice President Shaca Sweet and other members of the executive cabinet, including Treasurer Marc-Anthony Medina, followed this. 

Medina presented updates to the SGA budget, a responsibility that the treasurer has to undertake every month. Based on the slides presented, as of Feb. 2, 2023, the current balance stands at $22,857.61. Recent SGA expenses include the Rowdy Prize Cab giveaways, a February 2023 SAC meeting in Austin, SGA Rack Cards and expenses for last week’s UTSA Day at the Capitol. 

Executive updates were followed by updates from the executive directors and committee reports. 

The Assembly then adjourned for recess, during which Paquet-Durand Ford encouraged senators to engage with the student body.

After the Assembly resumed, SGA senators had the opportunity to vote on amendments that were proposed to the SGA by-laws. 

The first amendment proposed was to By-Law II, which deals with SGA elections. The changes included adding Section 7, titled “Amendments to this By-Law,” which states that no amendment will be made to the election by-law less than two weeks before or during scheduled elections. This was done to make the election process more foolproof.

The other amendment was to the by-laws dealing with SGA stipends. Until now, the Speaker of the Senate received a total stipend of $400, while the treasurer received a total stipend of $600. The amendment would change these amounts to $600 for the speaker and $300 for the treasurer. Paquet-Durand Ford explained that the rationale for these changes was based on the responsibilities of each role and to account for the line of succession. 

Both of these amendments were passed by the senators with unanimous consent. 

Finally, Paquet-Durand Ford announced the proposal of a third amendment regarding the allocation of stipends. Under this amendment, positions not eligible for stipends would be able to receive a stipend to compensate them for their work. The individual in question would have to follow the procedure laid out in the amendment. Paquet-Drand Ford’s rationale behind this amendment was the fact that her director of outreach, who has gone above and beyond in doing their job, is ineligible for a stipend. 

The verbiage for this amendment was the topic of discussion. A definitive conclusion about the same was not agreed upon, and following discussion by the internal affairs committee, the final amendment was tabled.