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Leaders focus on finances

Nov. 3, 2005

by GENTRA CARTWRIGHT and MATTHEW WALLER, reporter and contributor

When Student Government representatives open their wallets to organizations around campus, they don't just smile and walk away.

With two new positions added to the organization, attorney general and comptroller, Student Government is making sure that the approximately $60,000 given to campus groups each year will be used correctly.

Student Body President Mark Laymon, a Dallas junior, appointed the positions, and Student Congress confirmed them Sept. 8 in accordance with bylaws passed last year.

San Angelo junior Rosie Gregg, this year's attorney general, will make sure student organizations use allowances properly by scheduling weekly meetings with organizations, collecting receipts and attending the events.

"I go to the events to make sure that they're being run properly, and if they default on any of the requirements that I ask of them, then I file suit in Student Court," Gregg said.

Defaulting on requirements can include spending allocation money on food or not spending as much as specified on advertising.

Laredo junior Miguel Romero functions as the comptroller, overseeing the budgets of class officers, executive branch and legislative branch members and keeping records of the Student Life Fund.

"I look forward to using my accounting knowledge in something that doesn't count toward class credit, to something that is more of a job than it is an assignment," Romero said.

Both Gregg and Romero will work to ensure Student Government is spent with the same intentions presented to them when members voted on the bill.

"I don't want to have an abrasive relationship with the organizations," Gregg said.

"I don't want them to think that I'm going after them or am in any way against them," she said.

"We're here to work with them and make sure that everything runs smoothly," she said.

Gregg's position also makes her the official liaison between Student Government and any judicial bodies, such as Judicial Affairs or Student Court.

Student Government could charge the organization with sanctions such as not being able to utilize money from the Student Life Fund for a future event.

"I've liked how friendly all the presidents of the organizations have been," Gregg said.

"They've been very willing and open about having student government audit what they've been doing with the money. It's been a very positive influence in student government I believe," she said.

These two officers will be involved with the Asian Students Association's culture show Friday and Saturday and the Kappa Omega Tau fraternity's Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 1.

"We presented a bill to Student Government requesting $9,000 for our Christmas Tree Lighting," said Waco senior Taylor Bledsoe, Kappa Omega Tau president.

"The money spent will be used to pay for the entertainment aspects of the event, including the bands, lighting, sound and purchase of the tree," Bledsoe said.

Kappa Omega Tau's request for funds varies from year to year depending on the lineup of bands and the size of the event. Bledsoe said any money left over after the event, will be directly deposited back into the Student Life Fund.

No wrongdoings have surfaced since both positions have been implemented into office, but now organizations are giving unused money back to the Student Life Fund after its events have occurred.

"These two officers provide Student Government with the infrastructure to ensure that student's money is spent responsibly and in the best interest of the student body," Laymon said.