Student body president seeks FERPA waiver for SG
Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 11:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 11:25 p.m.
A proposal that would allow student government officials to waive FERPA laws and increase transparency in student government was introduced by Student Body President Jordan Johnson during Tuesday night's Student Senate meeting.
The proposal, called “FERPA and Florida Law Waiver for Student Government Participants,” would make documents such as minute meetings, allocation records and senate voting records available through public records requests as well as online, waiving FERPA, the federal law that protects student privacy.
“I’m asking anyone involved in student government to sign it,” Johnson said of the form he signed and he passed out copies of during the meeting.
In other matters, concerns about the proposed 2010-2011 Activity & Service Fee Budget were addressed during an hour-long report by Maryam Laguna, student body treasurer, and UF’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The recent $5 million budget for student government is an increase of 5 percent over last year and is part of a larger budget of $14 million split between SG, the Reitz Union and Rec Sports, according to Laguna.
The SG budget includes a $350,000 increase in administrative fees, which pays for human resources, UPD, IT costs, etc.
Instead of a flat rate of $50,000, student government will now be charged a percentage of the overall budget for administrative fees.
“This is a reflection of the current economic times,” Laguna said.
Senators also raised questions about $15,500 going to a consultant to improve student government and the decrease of funding toward Museum Nights.
“We are dealing with over $14 million and this is not a trivial matter,” said Senator Ben Cavataro, who raised concerns.
In other news, the free New York Times subscription will continue on campus after strong student support to save the newspaper's availability to students, according to Laguna.
In other actions, over $2,000 was allocated to four student organizations: Amnesty International, Doctors without Borders, Hope for Haiti and Invisible Children.
“We’re saving the world today, guys,” said Allocations Chairman Thomas Hilton during the unanimous approval.
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