Undergraduate Student Government Comptroller Fabio Saccomanno held a town hall Tuesday to present a list of potential changes to the Tier II funding policies.
The main policy proposed is a change of the deadline to submit a funding request from six weeks prior to the event to eight weeks before the event.
“Moving forward with the variance policy, we want to ensure that we have enough time to adequately process the requests and to make sure to protect Tier II’s that they get their funding on time,” Saccomanno said after the town hall on why moving the deadline is necessary with the new variances policy.
Variances are a proposed policy that would allow for the comptroller to approve funding requests that could not be processed due to extenuating circumstances, which include things like missed deadlines.
Without the deadline extension, the funding student staff and the comptroller would advise against the passage of variance in the Senate, according to funding student staff supervisor Erin McConnell and Saccomanno.
“We don’t think that we’ll have an adequate amount of time to process the variances in under six weeks, so that’s why we’re packaging them together,” Saccomanno said. “We don’t think it’s fair to institute an eight-week policy without the variances, because it’s not necessary at that point.”
Despite being packaged together, Saccomanno affirmed confidence it would be passed as is.
They also spoke about increasing registration funding from 90-95% funding to 100%, which Saccomanno said has the potential to cost USG the most funding out of all the proposed policies during the town hall. During the town hall, he stated that this is mostly to make the process more efficient while increasing funding.
They are proposing increased caps to flying, up to $600 per round trip flight from $300 and increased reimbursed mileage from 500 miles away to 1,000 miles. The flight increase is to cover any potential airfare to the west coast, according to McConnell.
As a way around price fluctuations out of the control of Tier II’s, they are proposing a policy where the funding student staff supervisor has signing power to increase funding of any funding request by up to $500, up from the $100 set previously. As a piece of this policy, they are also allowing up to $1,000 for the same thing, but it requires agreement of both the funding staff supervisor and the comptroller.
Within the town hall, the audience asked whether these increases could result in an increase to the student fee. Saccomanno recognized it as a possibility in the future but refused to commit that it is going to happen soon or at all.
“We don’t have a decision on that, I have honestly not made that decision,” Saccomanno said. “I haven’t talked with anybody, so I will be transparent and get back to you with that information when the decision is made.”
However, he also refused to commit to further increasing the caps in the future without a fee increase to go along with them.
USG is also hiring three funding student staff members, two deputy comptrollers and an inventory director. Positions are posted in the JobX system.
“I thought this went very well, I thought the questions were informative,” Saccomanno said on the town hall itself. “I appreciate hearing everyone’s advice, and it’s important to gauge from the questions what the students are thinking. So I think that they seemed very happy with the transparency of the process, which was my goal.”