Senators override budget veto

Student Government Association President Ramon Alexander announced his veto of the student senate’s proposed 2006-2007 activities and services budget Monday.

Alexander sent it back to the senate, where it has to be overridden by a two-thirds vote.

The senators voted to override his veto because he did not identify any specific problems with the budget. The budget will now go to the university president for approval.

The budget the Activities and Services Committee of the senate comprises, determines how much money, or lack thereof, each A&S agency should be given for the future school year.

Alexander, 22, a political science student from Tallahassee, said only organizations that fit into the definition of A&S agencies should receive funding, and he clarified the definition. After answering questions some senators had about his veto, Alexander said, “An A&S agency should be an organization that serves a specific purpose no one else is already performing.”

He said if there are organizations receiving money that are not truly A&S agencies, that money could be helping out other organizations.

“I know that Ramon is putting first the interest of the student body,” said Candice Pelham, 20, the A&S committee chairwoman.

During the meeting, a few other senators commended Alexander for addressing the budget’s issues because they believed some organizations should have been given more funds. They also knew next year’s budget is much smaller than in previous years. A number of senators questioned why Alexander did not line-veto the bill.

“I respect President Alexander’s decision to take a much needed stand by vetoing the whole budget, but I wish he would have picked specific items that needed to be changed,” said freshman senator Ashley Duprat, 19, a general studies student from Fort Lauderdale. “Yes, he took a stand, but he did nothing to help resolve the issue at hand.”

Sophomore Sen. Pelham, a pharmacy student from Miami, said, “If Ramon wanted us to take immediate action, he should .have line vetoed the bill.”

Senators asked Alexander to go through the budget line-by-line in order for them to see exactly what aspects he did not agree with.

Alexander said he initially wanted to line-veto the budget, but he decided that was not the route for him to take. He wanted to stay objective and several senators commended him on putting the needs of the students above personal wants.

But Alexander mentioned that the SAFE Team and residential halls should receive more funding because of the purpose they serve on campus.

“The safety of our students is very important,” Alexander said.

Leaders of the Caribbean Student Association came before the senate to plead their case during the meeting. CSA was one of the few organizations that were zero funded. The money that they requested would go towards their bi-annual conference.

A few representatives from the Presidential Ambassadors also came before the senate.

While the organization was not one that was zero funded, they said they need more money because they are the primary recruiters for the university.

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