The Washburn Student Government Association passed legislation Wednesday putting more stringent requirement on student organizations seeking funding.
In a bill authored by senator Josh Maples and referred to as the “three strikes policy,” student organizations will now be required to show evidence of fundraising, community service and being prepared to present before the senate. Should any group fail to meet the requirements for any one of these categories, they could face penalties in the form of losing a portion of their approved funding. Specifically, groups could lose 20 percent of funding for either a lack of fundraising or community service, and 10 percent for being unprepared to present. This means that a group who fails to meet all of these requirements and was approved for funding in the amount of $1,000 would have the potential to receive only $500.
While there were many senators in favor of the bill proposed by Maples, several were wary of its non-specific language. Senator Bethany Dix in particular was concerned that by leaving the wording of the requirements open to interpretation, it could negatively affect WSGA in the future.
“If it’s not in black and white, it tends to come back and bite you,” said Dix.
Maples, however, said that he intentionally left wording in the bill in a non-specified manner because he wanted the senate to be able to have some flexibility under the bill. The most controversial part of the requirements, though, was defining exactly what constituted being prepared to present before the senate.
“My view of it is that if they come in and don’t give us full information about where they’re going, what they’re doing, that would fall into presentation,” said Maples.
It was also noted by senator Lucas Mullin that student organizations should treat presenting their case for funding before the senate as a business transaction, and should conduct and present themselves in an appropriate manner.
Also, Maples said what constitutes community service would be left up to the discretion of the WSGA allocations committee.