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Student Assembly Rejects Proposal to Add External Financial Committee

A resolution that would have established a financial committee within the Undergraduate Government of Boston College’s (UGBC) Student Assembly (SA) was not passed on Sunday night. The resolution, which was proposed by Raymond Mancini, CSOM ’19, and Michael Proietta, MCAS ’19, was struck down by a vote of 22-2. The two assenting were the co-sponsors of the bill.

Because the resolution would have created a change in the structure of UGBC, the group’s constitution would have to be amended. This would have required a two-thirds vote.

Mancini and Proietta hoped to create an external committee to handle UGBC finances. It would be composed of the UGBC president, the executive vice president, the vice president of financial affairs, and four outside appointees. The four appointees would have been drawn from the student body and confirmed by the SA.

Currently, the Executive Council is responsible for creating the annual budget, through the UGBC president, executive vice president, and the vice president of financial affairs. The SA must approve the budget before it is enacted for the year.

Mancini and Proietta were concerned that the Student Assembly does not have thorough debate when it comes to approving the budget. According to Mancini, budget proposals are often voted for or against unanimously.

“I think that the way that the allocation is now aligns a lot with the Student Assembly’s interests,” Mancini said. “Because of that, and because the SA has one ideology, they don’t feel the need to debate.”

“I think [it] is a really unnecessary step to add into the budgetary process.”

—Niki Patel, UGBC’s vice president of financial affairs and CSOM ’17

Mancini and Proietta hoped that their proposal to create an external committee would remove bias when it comes to financial matters.

During the debate period, SA members raised concerns about the proposals.

Members were concerned that without ample knowledge of the inner workings of UGBC, the appointed members of the financial committee would not have the knowledge necessary to deal with the group’s budget.

For example, a majority of the allocations within the Diversity and Inclusion Programming Board go toward the AHANA Leadership Council (ALC) and the GLTBQ Leadership Council (GLC). Less funding currently goes toward the Council for Students with Disabilities (CSD). SA members were concerned that an outside budgetary source would not understand that ALC and GLC put on more programming than CSD, therefore, requiring the additional funding.

Niki Patel, UGBC’s vice president of financial affairs and CSOM ’17, did not support the resolution.

Patel said that the budget already goes through a number of checks before being presented to the SA.

The budget is created with the financial advice of several divisions of UGBC and does not carry a heavy bias, she said.

“I think [it] is a really unnecessary step to add into the budgetary process,” Patel said.

Correction: Niki Patel is CSOM ’17, not CSOM ’18.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

October 31, 2016