This past week’s SCG parliament meeting revealed a few pieces of positive news. One example is the total number of students in parliament. On a good day last year, there were around six to ten members in a meeting, now it’s 16.
That sentiment was shared by Deputy Speaker Tom Fura, who commented about the difference in membership numbers compared to prior years.
He said, “[I’m] really happy that we have 16 members. I mean two years ago I was sitting in a Zoom call, and I was probably the only non-executive board member. And [to] see 16 people here – that’s crazy.”
The big ticket item everyone’s focused on is updates on SCG’s funding. Last Spring, the ongoing situation regarding SCG’s funding created questions about how this year will look. SCG President Matthew Thureson gave an update about where they are in the process of getting that funding back.
“We do have some good news. I reported to parliament today that we got our Fall deposit back for the student activity fee,” Thureseon said. “So as some of you may know, we did have the funds withdrawn. And the good news is we have the Fall reinstated. So essentially, a little bit more than half of that money is back in the account.”
He added that student organizations and clubs are now able to come to their office and make allocation requests. As for organizations who might’ve had their budgets slashed, the Finance Commission now has money to give out if said organization chooses to re-request that cut funding. The next Finance Commission meeting is on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 12:30 p.m.
The Fall appears to be all set. But their money for this Spring is still being held by the administration.
Thureson said in regard to the Spring, “So they’re still holding the Spring. So the Spring from this year is what they’re still holding as we figure out kind of the more nitty-gritty details of what’s going on – which we’re kind of working out as we go. We’re waiting to hear back from them with an official operating agreement on what that relationship would look like with the college. We think right now that that has something to do with them wanting some oversight over the employees of SCG.”
Part of Dr. Warner dragging his feet on unfreezing the funding isn’t the same as former RIC President Frank Sánchez’s. Sánchez claimed SCG needed 29 members out of a potential 56 seats. Warner’s motivation is a bit different.
“So it’s the oversight, and they also are looking for some kind of reworking of the 501c3 relationship. Not obviously unincorporating, because you can’t really unincorporate something, it’s federal law with the IRS,” said Thureson. “But they’re looking at the language there in terms of what the relationship is now with SCG. And right now they see us as a dependent party versus an independent party. So, that’s kind of the language that they want to work out, and put into some kind of agreement.”
The Anchor will continue to provide updates regarding SCG’s funding.
In other news, SCG held a special election for Secretary. At-Large Representative Matthew Jacques won the election. This position was vacant due to, at the time, then-Secretary Christal Figuereo graduating. Figuereo has re-joined as an at-large representative because she’s going for a second bachelor’s degree at RIC, making her eligible to be back in parliament. Other candidates who ran were At-Large Representatives April Daignault and Frank Castello.
Election season is ramping up as November gets closer, and RIC will be home to yet another gubernatorial debate. Dr. Valerie Endress, SCG’s Faculty Representative, announced NBC 10 is hosting and co-sponsoring a debate with RIC right here on campus. The televised debate is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 3. Students enrolled in the COMM 353 (Political Communication) course are conducting citizen focus groups after the debate. And those focus group results will be in a press release sent out the day after.