The Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA) Senate unanimously passed a resolution that seeks to reform and codify aspects of the body’s budging and appeals processes. The resolution is an attempt to address problems within the budgeting processes that came to light last year.
Titled a “Resolution to Enhance the Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA) Finance Committee Guidelines” the legislation was sponsored by Finance Committee Chair Song Huang ‘22, and co-sponsored by Student Body President Owen Crum ‘20, DCGA Speaker Nathaniel Beach ‘20 and Rules Committee Chair Sam Rodriguez ‘22 among other senators.
The nine-page resolution amends a majority of the Finance Committee’s Funding Rules and moves the budget appeals process from DCGA’s Collective Policies to the Funding Rules.
The Funding Rules are a series of guidelines that the Finance Committee uses to determine which budget requests it can fund and which it cannot. These guidelines range from how budget requests must be submitted to setting levels of scrutiny for funding differing items.
Six of the twenty-four points of Funding Rules were amended by the resolution and an additional three rules were added.
The following are the amendments and additional rules added by the senate to the Funding Rules.
Rule 5 is amended to allow the funding of lump sum requests at the discretion of the Finance Committee and a loosing of the requirement of price quotes for events.
Rules 10 is amended so that price quotes for capital expenses do not have to be from Denison’s Purchasing Agent.
Rule 11 was expanded to provide more detail for food requests. Most food requests would still be subject to a high level of scrutiny with an eye toward cultural events that require food.
Rule 12 is also expanded to further clarify the definitions of “gifts, honorariums, or charitable donations” as “monetary compensation of any degree that is not contracted for labor or services and objects.” The amended rule now allows for the funding of T-shirts and for items that are made by students at events.
Rule 14 was changed to state reimbursement rates for Denison and student-owned vehicles used for transportation as well as giving the Finance Committee the ability to adjust the rates year-to-year.
Rule 23 is the rule that had the most changs and deals with the Finance Committee’s budget liaisons to every student organization. The amended rule sets up a framework that if a budget liaison is not present when the budget of an organization they are assigned to is looked at, that the organization be contacted and allowed the opportunity to present their budget before the finance committee themselves. The new framework requires that Finance Committee members must notify the chair of the committee “at least 3 days in advance of the budget meeting date.” If a member fails to notify the chair they can be removed from the committee after a two-thirds vote of the entire committee.
Rule 25 is a new guideline added requiring a two-thirds vote by the committee to fund any item or event.
Rule 26 is added requiring a that a “Minute keeper… be present during each Finance Committee budget review meeting.”
Rule 27 is added setting a $0.15 per page standard for printing material at the Finance Committee’s discretion. All printing will need to be done at the Copy Center located in Doane Administration. Printing through a third party (say, newspaper printing) would need to be explained in the budget request form to be considered by the Finance Committee.
The other major part of the sweeping legislation is to embed the appeals process into the Funding Rules. Previously, the appeals process was stated in DCGA’s Collected Policies — a grouping of bylaws on how DCGA should be run. At times the Collected Policies were not easily accessible for the majority of students. In the resolution, the appeals process requires that a student organization deciding to appeal their budget allocation must notify the DCGA Speaker as well as provide a rationale to begin the process. The Appeals Board will continue to be composed of two members from each of the three other DCGA committees. The resolution also states that the Appeals Board “will not make quantitative recommendations to the full Senate” and instead the Board “is simply charged with determining what appeals may come to the Senate floor.”
DCGA budget allocations are expected to be released by the end of March with the appeals process taking place during the first weeks of April. The final vote by the whole DCGA Senate on the final budget is expected to occur in late April.