The Student Bar Association approved its budget for student organizations and confirmed new members onto the body’s election commission and Supreme Court at its first meeting of the academic year Tuesday.
Senators approved four bills that outline guidelines for the body’s elections, allow student organizations to voluntarily return unused funds to the finance committee, approve the budget allotted to student groups and distribute funds or reimbursements to student organizations. SBA Sen. Joshua Gilmer, the chair of the finance committee, said the COVID-19 Impoundment Process Act allows organizations to return funds they will not use to the SBA and permits the body to reallocate the money for different uses.
“This essentially lays out a process that starts with student organizations and places them at the heart of this process,” Gilmer said. “This is to make it clear that this is not a process by which the SBA will be stripping organizations of their funds, but that it is entirely a voluntary process and is initiated by student organizations themselves.”
The senate approved its budget for student organizations for the upcoming academic year, outlining more than $70,000 to various student organizations and approving more than $165,000 for the SBA executive budget. Gilmer said the Student Association must approve the official budget, but he said the SBA’s outlined numbers are “solid.”
“Thank you everyone and especially thank you to the finance committee team,” he said. “I truly could not have put this together without all of your help, and your insights were absolutely invaluable.”
The senate also unanimously approved a correction to the budget for the European Community of Justice to allocate $150 to the group instead of the original amount of $50 and voted to reimburse the group for the cost of a general meeting that took place in the spring.
The senate passed a bill, called the Fall 2020 Election Rules Specialization Authorization Act, outlining updated rules for candidates regarding social media posts and disallowing physical campaign materials from being posted on the University or GW Law campus. SBA Sen. Andrew Wise, the chair of the rules and constitution committee, said the legislation is meant to help the election commission – the body that oversees elections – navigate the guidelines for an election during the “strange times.”
“It relaxes some of the previous restrictions on communication but also keeps some of the major premises of these limits – you can’t just post as much as you want in a Facebook group about your campaign,” Wise said.
The senate also confirmed four new appointments to the SBA, including Stevan Tempesta as the chief judge of the SBA Supreme Court and Andrew Ribe as an associate judge of the Court.
“Thank you all very much for your confidence in me, and I look forward to serving that honor,” Tempesta said.
Read More: SBA approves funding for student organization budgets – The GW Hatchet