Comptroller Fabio Saccomanno and the Funding Student Staff of the Undergraduate Student Government held a town hall meeting Tuesday to discuss new funding policies they are proposing and hear concerns from Tier II organizations about the current policies.
USG will also be hiring two new deputy comptrollers, so that they can assist with informational budgets, which had previously been ignored, according to Saccomanno.
“The deputy comptrollers will assist the inventory director while they’re conducting the inventory and two deputy comptrollers will be needed to go through all of the informational budgets because that is a rather large task,” Saccomanno said after the meeting. “Every Tier II that gets funding has to submit one and we have a limited amount of time to go through them.”
They will also hire an inventory director to handle a bi-annually submitted inventory of all USG funding to the state.
“We are out of compliance with the state of Connecticut right now, and like I said, we are a Trustee organization because we levy what is considered a tax on the students, so we need to complete an inventory every two years,” Saccomanno said. “It hasn’t been done in well over two years. Conducting the inventory is an enormous task because we have to reach out to every Tier II and go through response from every Tier II and every item that USG has funded them.”
The inventory director will also work on future inventories once the overdue one is done, Saccomanno said.
The newly proposed policies called are called “variances” and “appeals.”
Variances are exemptions from established funding policy, so Tier II’s can submit a request for funding for things, even if they are outside of the policies. Essentially, they are exceptions for items that had been previously denied by USG, with the goal of USG being able to fund as much as possible.
To qualify for a variance the requests have to meet the following criteria: It “is in violation of the policies,” if it was for missing a deadline the student organization “made reasonable efforts to meet the deadline” and it “was requested during submission of the funding request,” according to the packet they handed out.
The appeals policy is similar, but instead of it being a new application for funding, it is requested to have them re-consider the funding of something that has been denied.
There are two types of appeals, a Comptroller’s Appeal and a Judicial’s Appeal, both of which have to be submitted within five academic days of the decision on funding’s filing. The Judicial’s Appeal are for when a Tier II believes USG did not follow the established policies and the Comptroller’s Appeal is for everything else, according to the packet.
Things funded by the appeals process will not be allowed to exceed 50% of the total cost, so Tier II organizations will have to pay the other half, or more, out of pocket.
Both systems will be voted on by USG Senate in two weeks during its Senate meeting.
A small number of Tier II groups came to air their concerns with the funding policies. Their concerns ranged from specific questions about why something was specifically funded or not to broader policy questions about overall procedures.
“I do think all of their concerns were important, I did not hear one that I thought was unnecessary,” Saccomanno said.
The next town hall will be conducted the week before Thanksgiving break this semester, once the proposed policies will potentially be in effect.
Mike Mavredakis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @mmavredakis.