Student Senate appoints eight new officers, evaluates latest budget

Megan Hedges, Staff Writer

The Associated Student Government reviewed this year’s budget and appointed senators to fill the numerous vacancies on the board at their latest meeting Friday.

ASG President Carson Mitchell presented the first draft of the budget for the upcoming year, which allocated $100,000 of the ASG’s approximately $125,000 budget. 

About 75% of the budget was allocated to student advocacy support and 10% was allocated to hiring a student legal advisor. The remaining 15% was distributed over the rest of the budget— going towards a student stipend, marketing, subscriptions, and memberships.

Mitchell said that the majority of the budget was allocated for student advocacy support because many programs fall under the umbrella of the term student advocacy.

“It encompasses so much. Really anything to do with advocating for the needs of students,” said Mitchell. “ Support for clubs, undocumented week of action, and most of our equity and social justice stuff.”

The budget for the activity fee, which was not collected from students this semester, consisted of a more than $11,000 deficit from a budgeting error during the spring 2020 semester. The money to cover this deficit will be taken from the ASG’s sustainability fund, which will be replenished once ASG is able to fundraise.

The activity fee usually pays for club grants, scholarships, student aid, events, and travel. 

After discussing the budget, the meeting moved to vote on eight applicants for the 13 open positions on the board. All eight applicants were approved.

The new senators are Vice President of Operations and Finance Maggie Tang, Student Trustee Lillian McKinney, Commissioner of Accessibility Sarah Johnston, Commissioner of Events Anastasia Fenkner, Commissioner of Fundraising Megan McCormac, Commissioner of International Student Affairs ZhiNing Cui, Commissioner of Marketing Lauren Bell, and Commissioner of Sustainability Lola Bamberger.

Appointees were chosen by the only two current voting members of the ASG, Student Advocate Suzanne Obando and Vice President of Internal Affairs Luca Ferrel.

The idea of a campus-wide election was discussed prior to this week’s meeting, but there was not enough concern about lack of representation raised by the student body to warrant an election.

The senators appointed today will become voting members after finishing a course of training and orientation, expected to be finished by the Sept. 18 meeting.

After the appointments were finished, Mitchell stated that he could “finally take the first big sigh of relief for the first time in a while.” 

It was also announced that Student Advocate Suzanne Obando was appointed as the Student Senate for California Community Colleges Region VI Regional Affairs Director.

The senate will reconvene Sept. 18.