USG proposes new guidelines for emergency funding

Stephanie Sponzo and Daniel Byrd address the caucus. (Zhelun Lang/Daily Campus)

Undergraduate Student Government discussed the issue of supplying emergency funds and reducing organizational negligence at Wednesday’s caucus. Senators also examined the criteria for emergency funding, but debate was inconclusive.

Tier II organizations consistently request emergency, or legislative, funding. USG hopes to lower the amount of requests that reach formal legislation by creating incentives for normal funding.

“Usually now we have at least one piece of legislative funding per senate,” Bennett Cognato, CLAS representative and Daily Campus staff columnist, said.

Cognato said he believes Senate meetings can become inefficient. A disproportionate amount of time is spent debating the legitimacy of a student group’s emergency.

“We could be talking about the tuition increase, or the multitude of issues we could be discussing over this task of just dispersing funding,” Cognato said.

USG’s current policy grants either complete or zero funding for legislative requests, which can be problematic, according to Kassandra Pugliese, parliamentarian.

“It’s kind of like whatever Senate’s feeling that day, and I think that’s kind of inappropriate,” Pugliese said. “What constitutes emergency funding? We can’t give special treatment to some groups and not to others.”

Colin Michael, Mansfield representative, proposed legislation that would prioritize groups applying for normal funding. Emergency legislative funding would be granted in all scenarios but with a deducted amount. 

“We don’t want to punish the group as a whole for a few people who didn’t do the job,” Michael said.

Stephanie Sponzo, McMahon senator, proposed guidelines for funding deduction.

“Let’s say you’re applying for a $1,000 coach. It would be instead of at 100 percent, funded at 85 percent,” Sponzo said. “It’s a compromise between getting literally no funding and funding at 100 percent.”

Sponzo also suggested more stringent requirements for officer training. Tier II organizations would need at least two formally trained officers in the case of emergencies. Although the legislation guarantees emergency funding, it would reduce overall legislative requests.

“All of us, we want to fund groups,” Cognato said.


Stone Li is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stone.li@uconn.edu.