Duke Student Government senators began their first reading of next year’s annual budget Wednesday night, with the Student Organization Finance Committee requesting $400,000 — $25,000 more than last year.
The meeting began more than 30 minutes late as the body could not reach quorum, which requires at least 35 senators to be present to start the meeting.
SOFC requested more annual budget funding this year due to the increased number of student groups it approved this year which are anticipated to need funding, according to sophomore Ayanna Chatman, SOFC vice-chair of management and communication.
In addition to the $400,000, SOFC also requested $2,500 in discretionary funding.
Senators also approved a budgetary statue allocating an additional $47,531.14 from the DSG General Account to SOFC Programming to replenish their funds after SOFC exceeded their annual budget this academic year. DSG allocated $41,315.43 to replenish the SOFC programming fund in last week’s meeting.
Senator Alex Dray, a sophomore, asked how SOFC plans to avoid surpassing its yearly budget next year.
Chatman responded that SOFC plans to request organizations to return unused funds quarterly and create stricter guidelines for programming request applications.
Junior Shreya Joshi, vice president of campus life, and senior Swetha Rajagopal, vice president of Durham and Community Affairs, conducted a second reading of the SOFC By-Law amendment.
The amendment passed and will shift the responsibility of recognizing new student groups from SOFC to the Student Involvement and Leadership team in the Office of Student Affairs. This team will then categorize groups as “selective,” “non-selective,” and “competitive.”
The reforms will also restructure the annual budget process. Student groups will no longer submit separate budgets. Instead, DSG will budget SOFC funding between programming, capital expenses, operating expenses and discretionary funds. Starting in the fall, student groups will request funding on a monthly basis directly from SOFC.
In other business
Senator Alexa Fahrer, a first-year, introduced a survey to gather student perceptions of waste on campus. Students who complete the survey will be entered into a draw for the change to win one of ten $15 Duke Dining gift cards.
President Pro Tempore Isaiah Hamilton, a junior, shared a form for senators to recommend students interested in joining DSG’s cabinet, operations team or senate staff.
DSG passed a budgetary statute allocating $293.24 to DukeLIFE for a tabling event to raise awareness about LIFE and first-generation low income students. They also allocated $500 to the Undergraduate Environmental Union’s EarthFest.
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Ayra Charania is a Trinity junior and a senior editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.