Lack of communication from SGA leads to dissatisfaction in funding requests

Fashion Club requested their funding request for the Fashion Show to be tabled until a later date. [Editor’s Note: Lauren Paolini (second from right) is the copy editor for The Gatepost.] (Donald Halsing / THE GATEPOST)

By Ashley Wall

Associate Editor

SGA members discussed technology and transportation issues, as well as three funding requests, during their Oct. 15 meeting. 

Secretary Lexi Kays began the meeting with an open forum at which she spoke of concerns regarding the RamTram service on campus. 

Kays said, “The RamTram is extremely disorganized. … This service should be more accessible and better organized as a whole. 

“Seeing that I pay $500 a year to park a mile off campus, I can’t understand why I – along with multiple other students – are subjected to a faulty tram system,” she added. 

Student Trustee Olivia Beverlie discussed the card system for RamCash being down. For Beverlie, not being able to load RamCash onto her student ID meant not being able to do laundry on campus, as there are no quarter machines on University property. 

Beverlie said, “We already pay $3.50 to do a load of laundry. … For it to not even be accessible right now is super frustrating. I don’t have time to be going and looking off campus for a laundromat.”

Senator Samuel Houle concluded open forum by asking for clarification on Dining Services hours. 

He said, “I have had multiple times where I have gone in [the Dining Commons] at 6 p.m. and they have pulled all the food, so I wasn’t able to eat anything, but they still took my swipe.” 

SGA President Matty Bennet responded to Houle’s concern regarding the Dining Commons, stating he will be meeting with Dining Services during the coming days to “bring up a number of these concerns … to be able to address them now and get them fixed.” 

Following open forum, Afro-Caribbean Dance Group (ACDG) presented their funding request of $1,289 for their “Mr. and Mrs. Culturefest” event. ACDG originally requested $4,747, but $3,458 was deducted, as a new SGA rule requires clubs to fundraise 20% of total promotional item costs. 

ACDG’s primary focus was to receive funding for their promotional items, even though they were already denied their requested amount of $3,500 for T-shirts and a DJ. Additionally, they have not tried to fundraise the required 20% in order to receive promotional funding. 

Bennet said, “Unfortunately, ACDG was not informed of this rule with enough time, and with the deadline of the Business Office, there is simply not enough time to fundraise even a portion [of the 20%].”

In return, ACDG President Birica Pierre-Louis said, “In our eyes, it [the T-shirts] was not a promotional item. … It brought such positivity toward FSU, instead of negative attention. That was our point in having the shirts.”

The full amount requested was approved by SGA. 

Fashion Club presented their funding request of $15,147.43 for their annual Fashion Show, which will be held May 2020. 

Before hearing from Fashion Club, Bennet advised senators to table their request, saying he will “insist that this request be tabled because they have not fundraised the full amount. They are in a position where they still have time to go ask for money. … This is an incredible amount of money for us to fund.” 

According to SATF Treasurer Driana LeBron, SGA only has $115,562.49 left in their unallocated budget for the rest of the school year. 

Due to SGA policy, in order to receive funding, Fashion Club would need to raise 2.5% of their total requested amount before presenting their proposal again to senate, as their requested amount exceeds $10,000. 

LeBron said, “I highly advise you to ask very strong questions to these clubs. It’s a lot of money.” 

Beverlie agreed, advising senate to “be brutally honest. If we don’t voice our issues now, they will come back in the next couple of weeks and it [the funding request] won’t change.” 

Fashion Club Vice President Lauren Paolini agreed with senate, saying, “We want to make it clear that this is an event for everyone. … We want to propose that this be tabled because we want to show you that we can do some fundraising and possibly reach out to other donors and sponsors.”

Paolini explained the funding requested is the bare minimum total. They are willing to eliminate a paid videographer, paid photographer, paid DJ, and paid setup of chairs in order to keep costs down. 

However, they would prefer to not have to set up their own chairs, as Paolini pointed out, “They did it last year and it took up a lot of time and energy.”

Some of their current fundraising ideas include making and selling scrunchies, as well as holding a bake sale. 

SGA granted their request to table, meaning no monetary value will be given to Fashion Club until they have fundraised and presented a new funding request. 

M.I.S.S. presented the final funding request of the night of $482.00 for the M.I.S.S. “Women Crush Wednesday” events, which will take place Nov. 13 and Dec. 4. 

Regarding their M.I.S.S. event, M.I.S.S. Vice President Mariah Farris said, “Once a month on Wednesdays, we meet in O’Connor Hall [for lunch] with students and faculty of color. We hear their stories and how they got to where they are.

“It doesn’t have to be a Framingham State faculty member. It’s very important. … We make networking connections with faculty and people in other companies who have done this,” she added. 

Farris is also an SGA senator.

The full amount requested by M.I.S.S. was approved. 

The meeting concluded with Kays being awarded eBoard member of the month. Paola Bilbraut was awarded senator of the month. 

[Editor’s Note: Lauren Paolini is the copy editor for The Gatepost.] 

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