Taking money out of Monday meetings

If there’s one aspect of Temple Student Government that student organizations love to hate, it’s the allocations process. Now with TSG’s “new look and feel,” which the body’s Executive Board spent its winter break working

If there’s one aspect of Temple Student Government that student organizations love to hate, it’s the allocations process.

Now with TSG’s “new look and feel,” which the body’s Executive Board spent its winter break working on, student organizations can breathe a sigh of relief that the extensive and long-detested allocations process will no longer occur during general assembly.

Instead, the procedure, which provides funding for registered student organization programs, will now take place in seven separate allocations committee meetings, which will be open to the public.

“We are not going to pass any allocation bills in general assembly,” TSG President Raysean Hogan said. “I think that’s a progressive movement because for years [allocations] has been bogging down the performance of the general assembly, which is what we tried to tweak over the [winter] break.”

The first allocations committee meeting was held last Wednesday in room 200A of the Student Center. Six allocations
committee members and an adviser are the only people who are required to attend the meetings, Allocations Chair Eric Stephenson said. Previously, two-thirds of the general assembly had to be present when allocation bills were voted on in general assembly.

In addition, student organization representatives were required to be in attendance on the day their group’s bill was posted or else the bill would be tabled. Now, student organizations only have to fill out an application
to receive funding.

“The organizations do not even have to show up [to the allocation committee meetings],” Stephenson said. “If they want to show up, it’s beneficial to them because they can speak on [their bill]. If not, then they just have to deal with what they get.”

All of the allocation application forms are found online at TSG’s Web site, www.temple.edu/tsg/allocations. Soon, student organizations will be able to apply for allocations via the Internet.

“If we have everything on the Internet, it’s going to be a lot better for the organizations, TSG, the [allocations] committee and for myself,” Stephenson said.

For the 2006-2007 school year, TSG began operating on a $175,000 allocations budget.

From that budget, student organizations can apply for up to $2,500 per semester or $5,000 for the school year. As of the last school year, there are more than 150 registered student organizations at Temple.

Although student organizations no longer have to be present when their bill is voted on, other aspects of the allocations process will remain unchanged.

General assembly members will still be allowed to ask questions, make comments and voice their opposition to a bill before it is motioned to pass – as they did in general assembly – at the allocations committee meetings. Prior to voting, all funding applications are reviewed by the allocations board.

Student organization representatives are still required to join a TSG committee and also regularly attend general assembly in order to receive allocations and two-thirds of each organization must perform at least eight hours of community service.

Stephenson said he will use a weekly report to update the general assembly on what happens at the allocations committee meetings, including a review of the programs and events that received funding.

Many representatives said they agreed to remove allocations from general assembly. But senior Todd Tranausky, a member of Temple College Republicans, said he would prefer to keep allocations in the weekly meetings. “Yes, it’s a little bit of a time-consuming process,” Tranausky said.

“Yes, it does require sitting here and actually looking at the bills. To make allocations work, you need a general assembly that is in tune to what is going on, that realizes what’s going on. “I’m not saying anything against past and present general assemblies,” Tranausky continued, “but there hasn’t been a lot of debate in the past on legislation and bills have just kind of been approved for the sake of approving them and there haven’t been a lot of questions asked.”

Senior Micah Ackerman, a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, disagreed.

“I feel that we can be more of use to Temple University as a representative for the student body if we were able to put aside the redundancies and the uselessness of everybody having to be here and view other’s allocations,” Ackerman said. “First of all, most of the time [representatives] don’t even care and second of all, it takes away the time from what we could be doing which is representing the student body,”Ackerman said he and another member of his organization attended the first allocations committee meeting last Wednesday. He said it was a “more efficient, more interesting” and “more pleasant” experience.

Ackerman said he is making it a “personal venture” to require future TSG representatives from his organization to attend the allocations committee meetings.

“I find that to be appropriate because, in my opinion, the allocations committee is more stringent than the Temple Student Government representative general assembly,” Ackerman said.

With allocations out of the general assembly itinerary, Hogan said more time will be spent discussing topics related
to the university.

“One of our jobs is to be the representative voice of the student body and we need to do a better job of doing that,” Hogan said.

Now, at least 25 minutes of each general assembly will be devoted to a scheduled forum.

“Student government had essentially become a student organization-organization,” Hogan said.

“We’re trying to get back to representing the entire student body which encompasses a lot of different views.”

Tyson McCloud can be reached at tyson@temple.edu.

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