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SA finance board holding elections to fill remaining spots

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With only five out of its 12 spots filled, Syracuse University’s Student Association is holding elections to round out its finance board.

“We’ve got millions of dollars that we allocate every year to student organizations and contributing to the student experience, and so they play a major role,” SA President David Bruen said.

The finance board works independently from SA to review applications for funding from over 300 student organizations at SU and presents their recommendations to the SA assembly, which either approves or denies them. Bruen and Comptroller Nyah Jones said SA is looking for diverse applicants to ensure that student organizations have the funding they need to operate.

SU and SUNY ESF undergraduates are eligible to apply to the SA finance board, which reviews applications on a rolling basis. Bruen said the board may include a maximum of four SA assembly members, and the current board make-up satisfies the minimum of two assembly members.

The board reviews funding applications from SU registered student organizations, which are split into tiers for allotted amounts of funding. Organizations submit semester allocations requests throughout the current semester and advance allocation requests for following semesters, Bruen said.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its complications for student organization events instigated the name changes, Jones said. The board has made changes to the fiscal code recently, including adding a section titled “co-curricular funding” to allow smaller, less formal student clubs to request funds. Clubs that are not RSOs can request up to $5,000 in funding, she said, but they are encouraged to meet with SA and the RSO consultant.

Bruen said it’s important to have co-curricular funding for less formal student clubs so they have the same opportunities as RSOs.

“When you don’t have this access to these things, but you know the money is there, it kind of feels like a lot of doors and opportunities of being closed off,” Bruen said.

Jones also changed the semester operations requirements for clubs due to COVID-19. SA previously required student organizations to operate for six continuous semesters in order to request funding.

Now, SA has also reduced requirements by at least one semester in each tier, with some tiers only requiring four semesters of operation, Jones said. She also said semesters no longer need to be continuous.


Jones said the finance board also has the responsibility of auditing and evaluating student organizations’ use of their funding. Finance board members attend student organization events to ensure the organizations use allocated funds for their intended purpose, he said.

Jones said SA hopes applicants will be interested in continuing to make improvements to the operations of the finance board.

“(We’re looking for) people who are interested in making changes to the fiscal code and seeing what’s working, what’s not working, as well as people who understand the difference between equality and equity, and how important that is in our decision making ,” Jones said.

(We’re looking for) people who are interested in making changes to the fiscal code and seeing what’s working, what’s not working, as well as people who understand the difference between equality and equity

Nyah Jones, SA Comptroller

Bruen said SA is currently working to restructure criteria for reasoning and timing in funding requests.

“This is a really important conversation to have because it allows organizations and leaders to be able to have more autonomy over the decisions that they make, but also for us to really allow student organizations to enhance the student experience,” Bruen said.

SA is also seeking diversity and academic representation in its members, Bruen said. He said he encourages students from all schools within SU to apply.

Jones also said that racial and ethnic diversity is important to the finance board because it votes on cultural organizations.

“When you’re evaluating organizations, they may be having an event that’s specific to a very specific culture, so people may not understand why a certain item may be requested,” Jones said. “So having people that, even if they’re not a part of that community, are willing to go the extra step to kind of ask or learn about those types of things, that’s something that’s really important to the board.”

Contact Stephanie: [email protected]