UCF's 49th Senate

The 49th Senate poses for a picture at the end of its final meeting. Elections for the 50th Senate will take place Oct. 2 - Oct. 4. Photo by Ryan Weiss. 

The UCF Student Government Association's 49th Senate held its final meeting Thursday night and focused on passing the fiscal bills so they would not carry over to the 50th Senate.

The meeting was the Senate’s first since Aug. 24, after to Hurricane Irma canceled the previous two. 

The Senate passed eight fiscal bills on Thursday night to give registered student organizations (RSOs) funding for travel and events.

“We didn’t have senate meetings for two or three weeks, and a lot of organizations were thinking they weren’t gonna get their funding,” Senate President Pro Tempore Josh Boloña said. “But, our priorities came right away for fiscal legislation. Without a doubt the organizations were the biggest part [of the meeting].”

The student-run organizations were looking for funding to hold events in the Student Union or to travel to places like Nevada, New York and Mississippi. The organizations were looking for significant amounts of money, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

SGA can fund up to half of the cost of a trip or event. When organizations come to SGA for funds, Senator Jad Shalhoub said he believes it is his job to be meticulous and make sure the Senate is being responsible with its money.

“I think the most important thing to do as a senator when that’s happening is to really look through the bill and look at different line items to see what we’re giving money to,” Shalhoub said. “And then to question the organization on whether or not they provided multiple quotes to make sure we’re not giving out too much money, because we’re trying our best to be fiscally responsible and spread the money out through as long as period of time as possible.”

Of the eight organizations to receive their funding, one had a special connection to a senator. The Vietnamese American Student Organization received funding for its Mid-Autumn Moon Festival that is held in the Pegasus Ballroom in the Student Union, and is a celebration of Vietnamese culture.

The event received a strong recommendation by Senator Theressa Tong, whose father created the event when he attended UCF.

“I am also highly in favor of this bill. My dad designed this event when he was at this university, and he said, ‘It’s grown beyond his wildest dreams,’” Tong said.

Another bill passed at the meeting involved internal legislation of the Senate. Bill 49-107 outlined the duties of Internal and External Legislative Assistants more clearly. Resolution 49-47 also passed and updated Senate Rule Nine that included changes for membership selection and application process of the Senate Leadership Council.

During the night, three senators went through confirmation hearings. Breon Clark for diversity and outreach coordinator and Jamal Mays for assistant supervisor of elections were both voted in unanimously. Karli McGregor for election commissioner seat No. 10 was voted in almost unanimously expect for one senator abstaining.

Elections for the 50th Senate will take place Oct. 2 to Oct. 4. The 50th Senate will hold their first meeting on Oct. 5. 

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