SG Quote of the Week

Just as a reminder, everyone who sponsors this bill will receive their name on the bench also.

House Speaker Alan Pollock, at the Feb. 5 Boca House meeting, prior to a vote on the “Benched” bill which will fund a 6-foot long bench in the Breezeway. Not to mention a pretty little plaque with, it seems, about two dozen SG names on it — directly after Pollock’s statement, over a dozen people raised their hands to be added to the bill which already had 14 sponsors. The bill passed unanimously.

To offer a little perspective, many bills (legislation that allocates money) only have one sponsor. Resolutions (legislation that does not involve money) usually have more sponsors. However, there’s a noticeable trend in sponsorship for bills that directly benefit SG, such as the “Comprehensive Marketing Plan” bill currently being considered, which might fund:

  • engraved SG name badges…
  • SG sweatshirts…
  • SG polo shirts…
  • “…and/or any other marketing/promotion/advertising items.”

This bill currently has 12 sponsors — and they haven’t decided how much it will even cost yet.

Compare this to the “Student Juried Art Exhibit” bill. Raised at the same meeting, it was meant to fund an annual campus art exhibit featuring student work. It has one sponsor. And it was tabled at the meeting to be discussed at a future date.

I don’t want to over-generalize or dismiss context, however; there’s a legitimate question about the legality of funding the (poorly written) latter bill which will be discussed in committees and hopefully addressed in the next meeting.

When I have time, I’ll look at a more fair (i.e. larger) sampling of legislation, which should offer more perspective.

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8 Responses to “SG Quote of the Week”

  1. Hey Brandon glad to see you’ve finally got back to work. Just a couple of questions because the above post is not very clear,

    -So the newly proposed bench is identical to the one former SG President Ancel Pratt placed in the breezeway by starbucks?

    -Im confused as to which bill are you questioning the legality of, the art bill or the marketing bill?

    -Have you asked any of the authors of the bills in question for a comment?

    -Could you also post the anticipated cost of the bench as well as the art bill, and how much money is currently in the House account.

    -And im not aware of what happens to the money in the House account after the end of the fiscal year, does in roll over for next year or what?

    -Last question, I heard a rumor that there may be a bill in the senate that adds more funds to the campus house accounts, any truth to this.

    My reason for asking is because I feel all of this information is important in forming an opinion on the above bills you call into question. I guess I kind of feel like you didnt do enough homework before you posted this. In my opinion you should have considered talking to one of the authors of the bills and looking at the larger sampling of legislation before and not promising to do it later.

  2. —So the newly proposed bench is identical to the one former SG President Ancel Pratt placed in the breezeway by starbucks?

    Identical except for the engraving, yes. And in the same area.

    —Im confused as to which bill are you questioning the legality of, the art bill or the marketing bill?

    I’m not questioning the legality; the issue was raised in the House and so the bill was tabled. But the one in question is the art bill, and I thought that was clear. Sorry.

    —Have you asked any of the authors of the bills in question for a comment?

    Not yet, as you surmised. If I had, I would of course quote them.

    —Could you also post the anticipated cost of the bench as well as the art bill, and how much money is currently in the House account.

    The bench bill: $850. The art bill: $2500 as currently written (by a student, not an SG representative). I don’t know the current amount in the House projects account, but I can ask.

    —And im not aware of what happens to the money in the House account after the end of the fiscal year, does in roll over for next year or what?

    My understanding is that it rolls into the contingency account, which is a reserve the House generally cannot use.

    —Last question, I heard a rumor that there may be a bill in the senate that adds more funds to the campus house accounts, any truth to this.

    This is true; the money is supposed to come from Student Affairs. There was some talk about allocating a portion of it to COSO, which has been hit hard by travel funding requests; they weren’t initially allocated money for travel this year because the travel ban was still in effect at the time and has since been lifted. I’m not sure that’s going to happen, though, so I don’t know where that money will be spent.

    —My reason for asking is because I feel all of this information is important in forming an opinion on the above bills you call into question.

    I agree, and appreciate your comment and criticism.

    —I guess I kind of feel like you didnt do enough homework before you posted this. In my opinion you should have considered talking to one of the authors of the bills and looking at the larger sampling of legislation before and not promising to do it later.

    I disagree in part, although I understand where you’re coming from; it’s happening now and I think I should post it now, with the caveat that I’m not giving a full picture. I do think a comment from the authors would be helpful, but I don’t think the entire discussion should wait until I have time to review all the legislation passed this academic year.

  3. Thank you for the speedy response.

    Just so your aware, the bench ancel pratt bought was engraved. it was dedicated to the university student government on one plate engraving, the second plate was dedicated to himself, his vice president and his chief of staff, the third plate was dedicated and features all the names of the members of his cabinet (I looked at and sat on this bench today). I feel this is important to note so one does not get the misconception that the house is buying a bench just so they can put their names on it. From the quote of the week by marcus washington you posted not long ago, I feel this idea came from the students and It seems as though the house may be trying to keep with some form of consistency. I doubt highly the author of the bill just woke up one day and wanted a bench with his/her name on it, but hey i could be wrong.

    I would however really like to know the amount in both the house projects and house contingency account (both of these accounts are controlled by the house) as well as the possibly amount that may be allocated to the boca campus house account per the new senate bill. and this contingency account that the extra funds are sent to at the end of the fiscal year, does Student Government control this account or does student affairs? I would much rather Student government spend nearly their entire budget on things such as a bench or name tags as long as we’re not sacrificing anything else like programming or money for clubs to do so, otherwise we loose control of our money to Student affairs. At least i know i can lobby my elected representative and hold him accountable in the next election, for Student affairs I cant say as much.

    I do understand your reasons for posting when you did, Im just one of those people who like to be educated in every possible aspect of a situation before formulating an opinion on it, Id just rather not speculate nor encourage others to.

  4. hehe I really love that you quoted my dear friend Mr. Pollock like that, but I did not raise my hand after he assured us our name would be on the bench. Whether that means I was already a sponsor or I just refused to raise my hand at all is up to you to guess. 🙂

  5. This is absolutely insane!!!! $850 for a single park bench that sits, what, 2-3 people? If you do a Google Shopping search for Park Bench you can get a bench for 1/4th that price. Seriously, do the Google Search right now.

    There’s no reason to pay $850 for a single bench when you could get 3-4 benches for that price to place in the Breezeway. If the goal is to serve students – who need somewhere to sit – rather than SGA – who want their name on something – than the obvious choice is more benches at a lower cost. I highly doubt students came to SGA and said, “We desperately need more seating in the Breezeway. Can you give us one bench? We just need one bench.”

    If this was a request from a student club, SGA would HACK IT TO PIECES.

    SGA… STUDENT Government Association, ha! This is about having their names engraved on something. Can we change SGA to SSGA? Self-Serving Government Association?

  6. TheTruthHurts Says:

    I would have to say that I totally see some of the arguments here on this little subject. There’s no doubt in my mind that theres a bit of stink that comes out of how the House is in support of funding the bench, the marketing bill, as well as the repair of the golf cart. If the point is to try make it seem that the House is using money on itself while not giving money freely to stuff like the Art Exhitibt, then hey I get the point in that. But the House did as far as I know, table the Marketing bill, and if anyone has a problem with the costs in that bill, COME TO THE HOUSE!
    Because before the concept of shirts and hoodies came around, there were two separate bills. One was for a display board so that SG could table in the Breezeway, and the other was for name tags so that SG leaders in the House could wear nametags and be identified as part of SG just like members of the Executive. Those proposals obviously are in a sense, spending money on the SG, but its purpose at the end of the day is to in fact allow for Students to become more aware of SG in general. Those proposals were scrapped, and then combined into one marketing bill, and now since then we’ve seen additions of shirts and hoodies and whatever else.

    Now, it is true that things will look rather bad if they just pass these bills and then reject the art exhibit, as well as not give more money to COSO or any other student organizations that come to the House for funding, but I would rather wait and see for that to happen first before blowing it all out of epic proportions.

    and lastly, the House is currently considering a bill to fund new equipment and help with security over at OwlRadio, yet that proposal is not mentioned in this post or anywhere else. Yes, that bill was tabled and will likely face some amendments, but the marketing bill was tabled too…..

    There’s no doubt that money needs to be spent better, by far. But let’s wait and see what really happens before assuming the worst.

  7. Hallenstein Says:

    Nothing changes. 🙂

  8. Very funny how you neglected to mention that the day that the “Student Juried Art Exhibit” bill was passed how many House members FOUGHT for that bill and when it was finally approved how many wanted to add their names as a sponsor.

    Shame on you for writing such an obviously biased and misinformed piece on SGA. And to all those whining they represent YOU so if you have an issue with your Rep. show up to House meetings and speak in Open Forum.

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