Post Classifieds

SGA faces student criticism

By Jake Heath
On September 30, 2012

Constitutional rights have taken an alternate meaning around Xavier, as Student Government Association (SGA) has faced harsh criticism from the student body.
On Sept. 10, SGA senate voted 8-7 in favor of retroactively granting Seth Walsh, Kristin Sanfillippo and Matt Morefield an additional $1,200 food stipend. Normally, the SGA constitution would not have allowed this vote due to the clause in Article IV, Section 2b that forbids senate from meeting during the summer. However, senate allowed the situation. "It was a tough conversation to have because it hadn't happened
before," Sanfillipo said. "Our stipend wasn't enough to live on and work as many hours as we wanted without getting another job. If we had known beforehand that the stipend wasn't enough, we would havestarted that conversation with senate." According to the Executives, the constitution is seldom interpretative; every three years, the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) revises the constitution to prevent interpretive cases as well as implement changes to the constitution.
This case is no exception. Under Article II, Section 6, the
constitution states, "The rate may not change during any one person's tenure in the same office. Members of the Executive will be compensated by stipend payments every two weeks during the academic year in accordance with the current
university policies. The Student Senate, with a majority vote, after consultation with the Financial Affairs Committee, may provide for additional compensation for these officeholders for services provided during the summer." According to the constitution, the senate needed to approve these summer stipends in the fall. However, the Executives and Leah Busam-Klenowski, executive advisor and director of student involvement, were unaware of this until the stipend had already been granted on July 19. "If we had noticed it, we would not have accepted the stipend. Plain and simple," Walsh said. "We probably would have noted that it would have needed to be changed for next year." While SGA has access to money,
the Executives have little freedom to spend it. According to the Executives, SGA owned a credit card in the past that executives used for projects. The CRC changed this clause in the constitution to ensure safer spending habits. Now, spending money requires approval from Busam-Klenowski, as well as documentation.  

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