Mason’s Student Senate Passes New Budget


By Tisha Herrera, Staff Writer
Mason’s student senate met for the third time this semester on Thursday, Feb. 8, in Merten Hall. They discussed resignations and new appointments, passed a new budget and accounted for an unspent $13,250 from the discretionary fund.

Speaker Caitlin Lively followed the first order of business by reminding other senators to aid at Saturday Homecoming Tailgate for their outreach and office hours.

Davide Genoese-Zerbi, chairman of Government and Community Relations, reported to the senate that the committee recently elected Joseph Fernando as their new vice chairman. Ashley Reichert, undersecretary of Public Relations for Events and Inter-Organizational Relations, was unanimously approved as a new cabinet member.

After these new appointments were confirmed, the 22 members discussed Bill #19—a bill that allocated $150 that funded water bottles for the 2018 Homecoming Tailgate. But how much money does student government have, and where does it come from?

The student senate receives $20,500 annually from Mason’s office of University Life, which is used to pay for programs, events, and materials that help the student body. Student government has also delegated where any leftover funds will go, and passed “A Resolution to Establish the Budget of Student Governance” at the Feb. 8 meeting to detail where the rest of the funds will be administered.

“Our discretionary budget is basically all the money that we don’t know for sure what we’re going to spend it on,” explained Genoese-Zerbi. “[It] started last year, we started publishing a budget so that we can have a general idea of the expenses we know are coming.”

The new budget included $13,250 for the senate’s discretionary funding, $3,500 for the annual Mason Lobbies event in Richmond, $3,000 for Gold Rush and $2,000 for destress events during both semesters.

Unlike the two previous meetings, the Feb. 8 meeting did not include any new resignations. Liam Murphy, Xiwei Lei and Samuel Petto left earlier this semester, requiring new appointments for the remainder of student government’s second session.

Photo Courtesy of Tisha Herrera