Previously, on SGA: Party in the USO

Previously, on SGA: Party in the USO

The following covers the meeting on April 8.

This meeting was the first of two senate finance meetings for University-Sponsored Organization (USO) budget requests. Adviser Jamie Thompson reminded the Senate that there is a chance the student activity fee (SAF) fund will be smaller next year and to keep that in mind while approving requests. The amount of money allocated to the SAF fund depends on the number of students enrolled, and Thompson said there could possibly be fewer enrolled students next semester.

Junior Georgia Roberts, vice president, explained that requests were handled differently this semester than in previous ones. Rather than preparing a full presentation, USOs responded to a Google Form, noting whether they were requesting the same amount, less or more. There was room to explain any discrepancy from the previous year and to provide additional information.

This meeting, the presenting USOs included Student Ambassadors, Trinity University Volunteer Action Committee (TUVAC), Recreational Sports and Greek Council.

Vice President Roberts reminded the Senate of their decision last week to allow the rest of the spring funds of Student Programming Board — which will be presenting next year’s budget request at the next meeting — roll over to next fall. The amount is roughly $35,000, according to Roberts.


Junior Rojan Shrestha presented on behalf of Student Ambassadors. This year, Student Ambassadors requested $5,000 more than last year, with their request totaling $29,775. Shrestha explained that $3,000 of the increase would go to senior events that have moved to the fall since graduation was postponed. The rest of the money would go to new uniforms. Shrestha said the uniforms — a formal shirt, a casual shirt and a nametag — are generally only bought for new ambassadors but that the organization wanted to redesign the uniforms.

The senators decided to hold off on funding the organization so Vice President Roberts could reach out and see exactly how much money is left in the Student Ambassadors’ spring budget.


Junior Elsie Durán, TUVAC president, presented on behalf of the organization, which requested the same amount as last semester: $22,500. Duran explained that the organization would be reallocating money in some parts of their budget — for example, they will be readjusting their budget for T-shirts for volunteers and spending less on collaborations.

SGA approved the full amount.


Senior Outdoor Recreation (OREC) leader David Spindel presented, saying the Rec Sports budget was remaining the same except for the amount allocated to OREC, which falls within Rec Sports. This year, Rec Sports requested $1,325 more than last year for OREC leaders’ Wilderness First Aid Certification. Spindel and fellow OREC leaders Jack Braley, junior, and Kincannon Wilson, sophomore, described the certification and explained that there are multiple OREC leaders who need to be re-certified (the certification lasts three years), as well as the new students they hire in the next few months and next semester. The amount would cover roughly eight certifications, according to Spindel.

Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities and Event Management Seth Asbury and Associate Athletic Director for Recreation and Sports Camp Kristen Harrison described what the rest of the Rec Sports budget goes to, including student wages, equipment, uniforms and more.

All $200,875 of the request was approved.


Men’s co-chair Jack Garrett, sophomore; women’s co-chair Olivia Littlefield, junior; and treasurer Danielle Flaherty, junior, presented for Greek Council. The group request $25,540, which is $1,464 more than they requested last year. The additional money would primarily go to more Greek Unity events in the fall.

The full amount was approved.


Last semester, SGA began a discussion of whether they would reinstitute a time capsule. Nothing came from that before new leadership was elected, so President Claire Carlson, junior, asked the Senate if they wanted to pick it up or wait until reelection this spring. They decided to take a screenshot of the Zoom meeting to contribute to the time capsule.


Sophomore Rachel Kaufman, a former senator, has been working with associate vice president for Academic Affairs Michael Soto and the Department of Sociology to make a poll about Zoom and other Academic Affairs-related things. President Carlson asked if members of SGA would review the poll to see if there were additional important questions and if they would be willing to promote the poll by sending it out to students.

The primary discussion afterward was about pass/fail. Many SGA members feel the university should extend immediate pass/fail approval to all classes. Currently, the pass/fail option requires students to get department chair and adviser approval for major/minor- or Pathways-fulfilling classes. SGA members they find that few Trinity students take classes unrelated to their major/minor or to the Pathways curriculum.

A group of SGA members plans to meet with Soto to discuss the pass/fail situation more fully.