SGB, groups sort confusion over allocations

By Marissa Meredyth

The Student Government Board has spent a semester trying to clarify allocations rules, but even… The Student Government Board has spent a semester trying to clarify allocations rules, but even at the last meeting of the semester, there was still confusion in Nordy’s Place last night.

The Board tried to compromise with student leaders who didn’t know the rules about certain types of allocations requests.

Three of the eight requests heard were conference requests that did not follow the rules set in the “Allocations Manual.”

All three of those student leaders were unaware of the $2,000 cap for conference requests, and as a result their requests were well over the limit.

Requests exceeded the cap from $500 to more than $1,000.

In each case, the Board attempted to meet the organizations half way by altering the requests to approve fewer members to attend — there is a precedent to send no more than four — or by approving only parts of the requests, like registration fees but not transportation to the various conferences.

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers was one group the Board tried to placate. The organization initially requested $2,731.20 to send four member to a conference at Stanford University.

Allocations Chairman Mike Bane said the Allocations Committee’s recommendation was to deny the request in full, as the conference was centered on personal development and networking.

The personalized benefits of the conference would therefore be the responsibility of the members, according to the “Allocations Manual.”

President of the Society, Kayla Reddington, disagreed with Bane’s recommendation, emphasizing that this would be the only request the group would be submitting all year.

The senior civil and environmental engineering major said the conference would teach prospective leaders of the organization’s chapter-building techniques — a necessity for a club with 14 active members, four of which are graduating this year — and provide scholarship opportunities.

Board member James Landreneau asked the organization what it had done on campus this year.

Reddington said she had brought professionals and industry leaders from around the area to do practice interviews with members. Some of those professional connections were made at a previous conference attended by the organization.

Board president Molly Stieber interjected and asked Reddington if she had read the “Allocations Manual.”

“I’ve read parts of it,” Reddington said.

“Are you aware of the $2,000 cap for conference requests?” Stieber asked. “I just wanted to clarify that.”

Reddington said she thought it was one or the other, referring to the precedent of only sending four people and the $2,000 cap for conference requests.

The manual states that, “Certified student organizations may not receive more than $2,000 in funding for conference in a fiscal year. Student organizations may utilize these funds for multiple conferences and/or delegates.”

The Board unanimously voted against the Allocations Committee’s recommendation to deny the request in full.

Board member Emily Hoover motioned to approve for only four registration fees, denying the cost of the flights. This would bump the request down to less than $2,000.

Reddington said she was unsure the organization would be able to find the money for the flights, as that was the most expensive part of the request.

Board member Ryan Gayman asked, “Do you do any fundraising to meet us halfway with these costs?”

Reddington cited various grants and outside contributions, but she indicated that these funds were already spent.

The Board then voted 7 to 1 to approve Hoover’s motion to approve for $1,000 and deny $1,731.20. Board member Alex Zimmerman voted in opposition.

Stieber concluded the meeting by saying, “We try to do the best that we can.”

“We care a lot about Student Government Board,” she added. “We all really enjoy this and are looking forward to next semester.”

“I’m just so proud to be your president,” she said.

Allocation Notes:

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers requested $2,731.20 to attend a conference in California. It was allotted $1,000 and denied $1,731.20.

Student Dietetic Association requested $2,512 to attend a conference in California. It was allotted $1,884 and denied $628, after a motion passed to send three members instead of four.

Pittsburgh Taiko requested $3,342 to attend a conference at Stanford University. It was allotted $1,872.48 and denied $1,469.52.

Panther Lacrosse was denied the $3,015.92 it requested for competition expenses.

Phi Sigma Rho, a sorority for women engineers, was allotted the $659 it requested to attend a conference in Columbus, Ohio.

Pitt Men’s Club Soccer was allotted the $726.60 it requested for a conference’s registration fee and transportation to a competition in Philadelphia.

Pitt Students In Free Enterprise requested $2,999.56 for a national competition Minneapolis. It was allotted $2,887.80 and denied $111.76.