At its final Wednesday meeting of the semester, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) voted down two proposed changes to the Student Affairs Finance Committee (SAFC) Blue Book. The first change would have increased regulation of student organizations that pay their members stipends, while the second would have adjusted fuel reimbursement rates for student vehicles.
Both proposals were brought by BSG Treasurer Ugo Egbunike '09, who argued that student organizations that pay student stipends from their revenue accounts should not automatically be eligible to receive money from the SAFC.
"As of now, there are three or four clubs on campus that have revenue accounts," he said. "Clubs that make money like the Orient receive money from advertising and deposit that revenue into an account."
The Orient was singled out by Egbunike because it would have been the most affected by the bill. Egbunike said that the bill was proposed in order to promote parity between student organizations on campus.
"If you are going to generate revenue from SAFC money, you should be funding your club from [that] revenue you make," he said. "We didn't think it was fair that clubs that have revenue come and ask for SAFC money when...clubs that don't have revenue come asking for that same money."
Orient Co-Editor-in-Chief Nick Day '09 said that Egbunike had raised some valid points, but he was heavily critical of the bill. He called several passages in the proposal "contradictory."
Day's view was echoed by several BSG representatives, including Vice President for Academic Affairs Sam Dinning '09, who said that a comprehensive policy should be developed next semester.
"I think there are a lot of problems with this bill," he said. "The SAFC already has the power to regulate the Orient's money, and so I think we should vote this down."
At-Large Representative Rasha' Harvey '12 expressed frustration that a considerable amount of meeting time was expended on an inconsistent proposal.
"Why should we have to vote on a bill that is flawed?" he said. "That is just wrong. There should be more prior discussion on this, and whoever writes these bills should be more careful about [them] before they are put before BSG."
Ultimately, two members of the BSG assembly voted in favor of the proposal, while 19 voted against it. Two members of the body abstained.
The second SAFC proposal would have decreased the amount of money students are reimbursed per mile when driving their cars for College-related activities, to a variable rate related to the national gas average.
Egbunike said that the current reimbursement rate "comes from numbers based on the College's vans, and we found that many students were [compensated for] more than they were charged, since student vehicles get twice as good of mileage as the schools vans."
Many representatives were dissatisfied with the gas proposal because explanatory research was not completed and the bill contained typos. Vice President for BSG Affairs John Connolly '11 said that most members thought postponing the bill until next semester would allow time for it to be more carefully designed.
"The Gas Reimbursement proposal failed because [BSG] members wanted to make sure there was still a way of giving money for wear-and-tear on student vehicles the way that other campus departments calculate it for their vehicles," he wrote in an e-mail to the Orient.
Eight members of the assembly voted for the bill, 13 opposed it, and two abstained from voting.
In other business, BSG enacted a resolution affirming support for the general goal of increasing diversity within the faculty, and allocated $800 for an appreciation breakfast for the faculty and staff of the College.
At the conclusion of the meeting, BSG President Sophia Seifert '09 thanked the body, praising them for "accomplishing things" that had "not happened before in my four years."