PSG

Internal spending concerns prevented PSG’s budget vote from being passed

In a meeting bogged down by operational difficulties, Purdue’s student government failed to pass a budget for 2022-23 and approved the creation of a new small grants coordinator position at its inaugural meeting Wednesday.

PSG
PSG

The 2022-23 budget was introduced Wednesday night. $5,000 was allocated for the Fall Retreat, an event where multiple student organizations meet and participate in seminars and networking opportunities. PSG president Andrew Jensen said PSG would now have to pay per contract to attend the event. Money was also reallocated to fund small grant programs.

The $5,000 became the sticking point that would see the budget proposal fail and raise questions from senators about PSG’s transparency, largely because many senators were unaware of the spending until that very meeting.

PSG and other organizations are usually do fall retreats every year, but in this years they have had to stay on campus due to COVID-19, “So it’s going to be a little more networking with different groups.”

before the meeting There was uncertainty about this part of the budget. “I’m not entirely sure why (the Senate) wasn’t informed ahead of time,” Chris said.

Some senators expressed a desire to reduce the amount of money spent on fall retreats due to a lack of prior knowledge.

“Just to be clear, we are contractually obligated to pay for 112 people, even before the Senate approves it,” said President Pro Tempore Eleanor Madonna.

Jensen added that the decision was made over the summer through a Cabinet vote.

But Senator Cinde Terrell saw things differently.

“Especially after finding out that 5,000 of them have already been committed, without the Senate having seen anything of the budget.”

Terrell also had concerns in the July Cabinet vote.

When asked when the Senate found out about the proposal, Terrell said the Senate didn’t find out until today’s meeting.

Terrell proposed an amendment to reduce the budget allocated for internal appropriations by $3,000 and reallocate it to various Senate committee funds.

“I reallocated those funds to the committees that I think will have the greatest impact on the student body,” Terrell said. “We did (committees on) diversity, equity, and inclusion, sustainability, government affairs, and relations, as well as all the Senate standing committees.”

In total, PSG has $110,529 in the 2022-2023 budget. While most of that budget has been spent on events and programs, PSG members have been able to use a portion for internal expenses like dinners and networking events like fall retreats, according to PSG adviser Martia King. PSG set a cap of $19,000 for the whole year for its internal expenses.

“Last year the total allocation was $10,000. This year’s total allocation was $19,000 and $5,000 of that money will go towards the fall retreat,” said Terrell.

Terrell said $5,000 for an event seemed “a little steep” considering the Senate “had no choice” and the expense “was mandatory.”

The procedure arose after several problems with the Senate, and Vice President Izzy Weber had to stop several times to clarify the parliamentary procedure, finally passing an amendment that reduced the budget allocated for the event.

Another senator expressed frustration with the budget before submitting another amendment to the bill.

“I want to express my personal disappointment with the budget,” said Senator Claire Bowman. “We feel like we were forced into that position with the promise of money.”

Boman then proposed an amendment to make the budget fully public for all Purdue students.

He added that PSG would do more than “put all the information on the website without any context”.

The discussion then turned to the logistics of updating the budget, with another proposed amendment to update the budget on a quarterly basis. While most agreed, a few more were hesitant about the idea.

“I just want to caution that anything we post can be taken out of context,” Jensen said. “Understand that you’re opening a potential can of worms.”

“A lot of times there’s a disagreement at PSG or something happens, people on Reddit will comment on it and they don’t really know the full story and just move on,” said Chris in Jensen’s statement.

“It can be a bit demanding for us as PSG members because we are doing what we think is best for the student body and then seeing students talk about it bothers us a bit.

After further discussion on the procedure of the meeting, the amendment of the amendment was approved. The amendment now says the general budget will be visible on PSG’s website and updated quarterly, which was approved by 23 votes in favor and one against.

Despite the passage of the amendment, both pro-tempores recommended that the bill fail. The budget proposal failed with two in favor, 6 against and 16 abstentions. This means that PSG will not have a budget until it votes on a new budget proposal in two weeks at its next meeting.

Chris said even if the budget had been passed, it would have required two readings. “So even if it passes, it has to be approved at the next meeting.”

“This is a very typical thing for the first sitting of the year,” Chris said of the parliamentary issues seen throughout the meeting. Our VP is also new, so obviously there will be some growing pains there. But I think the best way to learn is by experimenting.”

Chris added that the new MP appointed after the meeting will also be a great help.

PSG senators then approved the appointment of several members of Jensen’s cabinet, as well as new MP Julia Hamblen.

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