Equestrian Team President Jessica Solana came before SGA Tuesday night to submit a replacement budget request. After amending the bill so that it was compliant with JFC policy requirements, the total of the bill was finalized at $18,620.
The bill passed GSS on a 21-0-0 vote and the UHR on a 40-4-6 vote.
According to Solana, the team is composed of 12 riders who participate in competition and ten members who are in the club to take lessons and ride with the team.
Rep. Alex Walker estimated that the total amount spent on each member of the team is approximately $1500. Team members are required to pay $300 dues to cover many of the team costs.
“Members of the lacrosse team, another expensive sport, are required to pay $800 for dues. That is significantly higher, and it seems like [the Equestrian Team] should increase their dues to help cover some costs,” said Rep. Nick Picon.
Solana, along with several representatives, pointed out that team members are required to subsidize the cost of much of the equipment used over the course of the year.
“We all have to pay for the majority of our equipment- our saddles and such. We also share equipment and use it over several years,” Solana said. She also said that the dues cover only part of show fee, and that particpants are expected to cover the rest of the costs.
“We all spend at least $3,000 of our money to cover our show fees,” said Solana.
Because the GSS and the UHR passed different versions of the bill, the bill will go to conference committee for further review until next week.
JFC Policy Changes
The respresentatives discussed at length the new JFC policy that will affect how SGA can allocate funds to chartered student organizations. The new proposed policy cannot be changed once being voted upon by both GSS and SGA.
JFC Chair Charley Crosson said the majority of the changes made were not inherently different from past alterations.
“Most of these [changes in policy] are incremental changes that have been made every year in the past. A lot of this year’s policy was created by consulting upon last year’s [JFC Policy],” Crosson said.
Rep. Aaron Greenwood also presented an amendment regarding the funding of food to both chambers.
The amendment allowed organizations to apply to SGA for funding for food, as long as the food plays an integral role in the meeting and has cultural significance.
“Each organization will have to post a flyer that displays both the cultural significance of the food and the nutritional value, to avoid potential issues with students that have food allergies,” Greenwood said.
There is a $1,000 cap on food allocations, and SGA will only fund up to $5 worth of food per student. No more than half of the food will be funded by SGA, and all of this will be verified electronically using the Buzzcard system.
There was also significant discussion regarding the communication, or lack thereof, with organizations about changes made in policy.
Several representatives were hesitant to pass sections of the bill regarding a proposed reductions in stipend payment and the demotion of Tier-II organizations to Tier-III organizations (which would result in decreased stipend payments as well).
“We need to consult the organizations first. This is not fair — we can’t just do this without talking to the people and groups that it would affect,” Rep. Hunter Hammond said.
UHR voted to fail a bill to fund a community-wide celebration of Shavuot, a Jewish holiday.
Rep. Eran Mordel, author of the bill, urged other representatives to vote to fail the bill after outlining the conflict over the religious distinction of the event.
“Shavuot is a religious event. However, this event was open to the community,” Mordel said.
Hillel @ Georgia Tech, in which Mordel serves as an executive member, a Jewish student-led organization, sponsors the yearly event and has coordinated with other groups on campus in the past to open the event to the rest of the community.
“I have several non-Jewish friends that are involved in projects regarding different world religions that expressed interest in coming,” Mordel said.
Last year the event was co-sponsored with the Lutheran Campus Ministry, though the organization was not involved this year.
SGA by-laws dictate that SGA cannot fund religious events.
A rabbi will be present at the event and outside sources of funding were secured by Hillel to fund the event.
“It was difficult to find funding at the last minute, but I understand [SGA’s] sentiments about not giving [Hillel] funding,” Mordel said. “SGA has been helping [Hillel] out with other events like Casino Night throughout the years, so I just wanted to pick my battles.”