The regular weekly meeting of the Student Senate was held on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Round Room of the Ford Center for the Fine Arts, with President and senior Sam Claypool as chair.
The main topic of interest in Student Senate involved additional funds that the Senate now has at its discretion. This fund, referred to as the restricted fund, has accumulated over many years and now has approximately $150,000 dollars, to be used as the Senate sees fit.
This fund has come from the accumulation of student activity fees and has yet to be tapped into. There was a great deal of discussion regarding where the money ought to be spent. Claypool strongly recommended that it not be used for additional funding requests. Claypool explained that this fund has been built up for years, and that it is not merely the current Senate’s money to spend. She believed that it would be inappropriate to allocate this money in a way that would serve only the current students.
Other concerns regarding the fund include its necessity regarding under-enrollment. It has been decided that this fund will act as a safety net if in future years Knox is under-enrolled. Should that occur without a safety net, the Senate would have to take already allocated funds from clubs to compensate for the financial hardship.
Claypool said, “I want the student body to know that their input is needed and will be sought throughout the entire process.”
The Senate intends to table and contact constituents in order to ensure that all ideas are expressed and granted the appropriate consideration.
Some ideas that have been proposed by the Senate included providing further funding, endowments for cultural events funding. The current issue regarding relative inactivity of cultural events is believed to stem from a general lack of sufficient funding. The current $750 a year budget is unable to accommodate the more ambitious goals regarding cultural events.
Another suggestion involved investing money in “going green.” The idea went from expanding the green fund to investing money in alternative energy sources to creating greener technological services on campus. This idea is intended to help the environment as well as Knox’s overall finances throughout the years. With these investments the hope would be to eventually get back any invested money.
Other ideas included additional scholarship funds, advancing technology and helping to re-open Alumni Hall.
A specal committee is being formed to deal with this issue. Senate representatives will include junior Treasurer Gordon Barratt and senior Communications Officer Chris Bugajski. Dean of Students Debbie Southern will also be on this committee. All student input is strongly encouraged and can be suggested to senators.