By Kelly Pyzik
This week in Joint Board, senators initially approved a travel policy stating that SGA will not allocate more than 2.25 times the student activity fee contribution per semester per student to any one student group trip. There will be another vote next week for final approval. Students participating in the proposed trip will also be expected to cover 15-20 percent of the travel costs.
“We compared ourselves to peer institutions on what a travel policy should look like and this seems fair to us,” Student Programming representative Gwenna Ihrie ‘15 said.
For the first time since the 1980s, SGA has money available to invest. It is currently discussing investing 50 percent of the available $40,000 in the endowment, and 50 percent in liquid investments, so as to have money readily available for any large projects that may be proposed in the next few years. The revenue accrued from SGA investments in the endowment will serve to slow the inflation-based increase of the student activity fee each year.
SGA has been discussing and reworking this proposal since last semester, and most senators are now in agreement. However, there was debate between Smounker Senator Sam Mulopulos ’14 and Treasurer Raghav Malik ’13 about investing 100 percent in the endowment, with Mulopulos wondering how much less the student activity fee could be increased if all $40,000 were invested in the endowment. Malik stated this was too risky to be an option, as large projects come up every 2-3 years. The investment proposal will be voted on next week.
Other topics brought up during Joint Board included the arrival of trustees this weekend, with the vote on need-blind aid this Saturday.
“This is a big deal. This is what we’ve all been waiting for,” SGA President Colleen Osborne ’13 said.