Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 10, 2021

SGA discusses next year's budget at last meeting of the semester

By XINYUE GU | April 24, 2021

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SGA passed a resolution on personal pronouns and a bill to establish an APIDA caucus.

The Student Government Association (SGA) discussed its budget requests for next year, the Pronouns Resolution and several other bills at its last meeting of the year on April 20.

Freshman Class Senator Ireland Parrish presented the Pronouns Resolution, which will allow students to submit their personal pronouns to the University Student Information Systems.

“The lack of pronouns in the University’s system has led to a lot of students being misgendered by professors, [teaching assistants] and others in power, which is very uncomfortable,” she said.

Parrish explained that the resolution also supports students who use neopronouns or no pronouns at all, as well as students who are not comfortable sharing their pronouns.

“We want to make sure that the University will keep the pronouns section accessible, which has been a huge problem with the ‘preferred name’ section,” she said.

The motion passed unanimously. 

During the meeting, Executive Treasurer Addy Perlman also presented SGA’s budget request for the 2021-2022 academic year.

According to Perlman, SGA’s anticipated spending is $22,500, which is consistent with its pre-COVID-19 budget. For large events, the budget has decreased from $6,000 to $3,000. 

Perlman also noted the creation of the Large Program Fund, which has a budget of $5,000.

“Any experience that we may have missed out on this last year can hopefully be recreated through the Large Program Fund to regenerate school spirit and create special moments,” she said. 

The New Group Startup Fund and Finance Committee Initiatives have been combined. The miscellaneous fund has also been cut from $2,000 to $600 to be allocated to other categories. 

Perlman explained that more money will be provided for retreats, banquets and high-level administrative meetings in anticipation of more in-person events.

“A large focus next year will be on allowing organizations to do what they wanted to do [and] what they did previously,” she said.

The Student Activities Commission requested a budget of $270,000, also in line with pre-COVID-19 spending. 

Senior Class Senator Ananya Kalahasti presented the Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi American (APIDA) Caucus Bill, which will create a new caucus to represent the Asian American community at Hopkins.

Kalahasti pointed out that although the University has a large APIDA community, it is not represented in SGA.

“A lot of students have wanted a formal space to talk about issues affecting APIDA students,” she said. 

The bill passed unanimously.

Executive President Sam Mollin also introduced the Vice Chairs Bylaws Amendment Act, which amends succession processes and the number of chairs and vice chairs allocated to each committee.

According to Mollin, SGA has had many problems involving co-chairs.

“The biggest issue is that when we have two equal co-chairs of a committee, there could be conflicts with no way to resolve them,” he said.

He noted that vice chairs will not automatically take the place of chairs if they are removed.

“One scenario you want to be protected against is the vice chair attempting to remove the chair so that they can become the chair,” he said. 

The amendment passed with two-thirds of the vote. 

During the meeting, Junior Class President Nathan Mudrak introduced the Microscope Funding Bill. The bill aims to provide the student organization Agara Bio with microscopy equipment.

Freshman Class Senator Harvey McGuinness voiced support for the bill, arguing that it is an opportunity to spend leftover funding. 

“Anything we can do to improve academic access, especially to the sciences at a research institution like Hopkins, is definitely worth whatever the cost is,” he said.

However, Perlman highlighted that it is important to spend money responsibly.

“This is a really good opportunity to look at how we’re spending the money and make good decisions on things that will help the whole student body,” she said.

The bill passed. 

SGA also passed the Class of 2021 Resolution and the Women and Gender Minorities Caucus Website Bill.

Later in the meeting, Sophomore Class Senator Karen He introduced a funding bill for the JHU GreenGroups Sustainability Initiative, which passed. 

The Sustainability Leadership Council (SLC) created the GreenGroups challenge in celebration of Earth Day. According to senior Mack Taylor, SLC hoped the competition between groups would increase engagement in the initiative.

“We wanted to use the structural system to engage and encourage more participation in adopting some of these behaviors,” she said.

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