Previously, On SGA: And the SAF goes to…

Previously, On SGA: And the SAF goes to...

The following covers the meeting on Feb. 6.

During this meeting, SGA only heard and discusses funding requests of over $1,500 from Registered Student Organizations (RSOs). Other weekly meeting agenda items, such as Climate Check and Officer Reports, were forgone.

Vice President Clouston explained that the budget for February requests, including those under $1,500 that are heard in finance committee meetings, is $23,595.14. The requests heard that day totaled $20,036.25. Clouston suggested that they do not fund the full amount of all requests heard that day so that they could fund more requests later in the month.


The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) requested $5,000 to bring Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of the National Review and Los Angeles Times columnist, to speak in Laurie Auditorium. Isaiah Mitchell, president of the YCT, represented the group. Mitchell said that they wanted to bring Goldberg because he is popular but not particularly controversial, unlike past speakers brought by YCT, such as Dinesh D’Souza. Mitchell said that Goldberg’s lecture will focus on the state of free speech on college campuses. YCT had already raised $10,000 from Young Americans for Freedom. The requested funding would go towards Goldberg’s honorarium.

SGA members discussed funding the event. Junior senator Taylor Volzer pointed out that Mitchell seemed prepared and aware of potential concerns surrounding bringing a speaker. SGA members did notice that YCT did not request any money for TUPD, and that an event of that size would require two officers on duty for four hours, an estimated $1,500 expense. Adviser David Tuttle, dean of students, pointed out that past YCT events have drawn a lot of members from outside the Trinity community, so it would be important to consider the value of the event for students. Senator emeritus Amulya Deva, senior, echoed Tuttle, and also pointed out that events like Henna Night cost $3,600 and serve more students.

SGA approved the amount of $5,000. First-year senator Ben Falcon opposed.


Black Student Union (BSU) requested $2,150 to cover the unexpected cost of the All Black Everything Party hosted at Lush Rooftop on Feb. 2 as part of Black History Month. BSU had previously requested $5,675.50 to cover all Black History Month programming in November, including the party. Kezia Nyarko, president of BSU, represented the group. Nyarko explained that they had to pay more than the original estimated amount to rent the club and buses to transport students from campus. They also had to pay for a TUPD officer for four hours. To fund the event, BSU borrowed money from Student Programming Board and Trinity Diversity Connection. Nyarko also said that they collected $2,000 in revenue from the event. Nyarko explained that they would use the refunded amount to fund the rest of the events planned for Black History Month, which they predict will be better attended than they planned.

SGA members discussed refunding BSU. Sophomore senator Nick Pereda said that he was frustrated because they had already funded the events in question last semester. Volzer pointed out that BSU did not disclose that they were going to be making money off of the event when the original request was made. Volzer said that this revenue could be used to cover the unexpected expenses, as BSU still had funds left for the rest of the programming. Senator emeritus McLean, senior, said that in her experience Lush Rooftop can be hard to work with, so it’s not surprising that the even ended up costing more than planned. Senator emeritus Shults, senior, said that BSU has already received a significant amount of money, and that the upcoming events mostly contained fixed costs and would not need additional funding because of increased attendence. Junior senator Adelle Green suggested that SGA fund the TUPD cost, which would be $200. Pereda said that because BSU had made money off of the event that would cover the unexpected costs, he did not want to fund the full $2,150, but would have if there had not been revenue.

SGA unanimously approved the amount of $200, funding TUPD and not the club or bus expenses.


The Trinitonian requested $5,000 for an advertisement fund for RSOs. Jonah Nance, business manager for campus publications, and Isla Stewart, advertising director for the Trinitonian, represented the Trinitonian. The fund would allow RSOs to request free advertisements in the Trinitonian. The Trinitonian had been given $5,000 per semester during the 2017–2018 school year for an RSO advertising fund, but had been denied the money for fall 2018. Stewart said that during the 2017–2018 school year, 46 ads from 19 different RSOs were in the paper, while last semester, without the fund, only one RSO paid for an ad in the Trinitonian. Nance and Stewart also presented data from a poll to RSO leaders, where all 13 responders said they would use Trinitonian ads if the fund existed.

SGA members discussed funding the RSO advertisement fund. Deva pointed out that RSOs already receive free advertising by including Trinitonian ads in their funding requests to SGA. First-year senator Esther Omegba said that advertising is very valuable for RSOs. Tinker pointed out that RSOs may only have used the ad fund because it was available, not because they particularly thought that advertising in the Trinitonian was valuable. Pereda pointed out that SGA could save money by hearing requests for ads on a case-by-case basis, instead of funding the $5,000. Volzer said that typically SGA funds requests for Trinitonian ads when requested by RSOs.

SGA approved the amount of $0 for the RSO advertising fund. Omegba opposed.


TEDxTrinityUniversity requested $5745.57 for their “Agents of Change” event on March 23 in Chapman Auditorium. Rohan Walawalkar, junior, represented the group. The event will feature 10 speakers, including two Trinity students. The funding would help cover travel costs for two of the speakers, online advertising, posters, flyers, adds in the Trinitonian, and food from Aramark. TEDxTrinityUniversity had already raised $1,450 from the chemistry, physics and classics departments and from the Law Office of Carol Bertsch. Walawalkar explained that the event would be for Trinity students and the off-campus community, and that they expected to fill Chapman Auditorium to its capacity of 150 people. Walawalkar also explained that they had food vendors lined up that would sponsor the event for free, but they were told recently that they had to use Aramark food due to Aramark’s contract with the university. Walawalkar explained that the $1,500 requested for online advertisements that would appear on Instagram, Facebook and through Google AdSense to all of Bexar County was a number recommended by Luis Martinez, professor of entrepreneurship.

SGA members discussed funding the event. Volzer pointed out that it would be a lot of money for an event for just 150 people. Volzer also said that $1,500 for online ads that would mostly target those outside the Trinity community was outside the scope of the Student Activity Fee. Deva said that it is possible to get exceptions to the required Aramark catering if they have an offer for free food from an off-campus vendor. McLean said that food does not seem integral to the event. Green said that Aramark food would not encourage turnout compared to other food sources.

SGA unanimously approved the amount of $2702.29, declining to fund the request for food or online advertisements.


The Mock Trial Club requested $2,340.68 for a competition in Houston. Zabdi Salazar represented the group. The funding would cover hotel rooms for 14 competitors, demonstratives for the competition, parking, sticky notes and a timer.

Because the meeting had run overtime by 45 minutes, SGA moved to table voting on the Mock Trial request to the next meeting.