Student Government tables controversial bylaw amendment

ELISHA VALLADARES-CORMIER
CATHOLIC VALUES COLUMNIST

Franciscan University Student Government voted to table a controversial amendment to the body’s bylaws during its Sept. 19 formal meeting.

The Proper Credit is Due Act would add a section to Student Government’s bylaws requiring every recipient of funding from Student Government for “trips, projects or anything else” to include the sentence “This event is sponsored by the Franciscan University Student Government” on any promotional material.

Failure to do so would result in the sponsoring club forfeiting their entire budget for the rest of the semester and being limited to a budget of no more than $1,000 for the next semester, the bill said.

Sen. Jacob Watson was quick to speak in favor of the bill, saying, “This isn’t some major addition, it’s just what we’ve been trying to do along. We want people to know that we exist, so this is essential.”

Sen. Derek Markle opposed the bill, saying he was concerned the penalty was overly harsh.

“If the goal of Student Government is to serve the student body, then this just seems like we’re looking to punish them instead,” Markle said.

Markle was joined in his opposition by Sen. Daniel McNichol – not to be confused with the majority leader of the same name – who said there was no need for the bill.

“I can’t help but notice that the name of the bill is ‘Proper Credit is Due,’” the sophomore senator said. “Proper credit for what? I mean, we allocate money to club that isn’t ours. I don’t think we have the right to require credit for something that isn’t even ours.”

Sen. Athanasius Sirilla said he supported the bill because it will help people become more aware of Student Government but said that clubs should be warned after one offense so they don’t lose their entire budget because someone forgot to put the required sentence on their poster.

Watson defended the decision not to give offending clubs a warning, saying that they will be told of the requirement three separate times during the budget process and would have no excuse for not following through.

Watson added that a club can still receive funding after forfeiting its budget. It would just have to ask for the money instead of having the money already set aside.

“The Gospel message is that credit should go where it’s due,” Watson said. “You should know who to thank when good things are done, especially for the student body. I think people want to know who’s doing these things for them.”

Sirilla responded, saying, “If the purpose of the bill actually is to get people to appreciate what Student Government does and like us more, then if the penalty is that people have to talk to more people and go to more meeting and bureaucracy just to get the funding they want for their club, then they’re definitely going to like us a lot less.”

When the discussion died down, Watson made a motion to postpone the bill until the next week’s meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

Student Government passed two bills during the meeting.

Fall Bill 15 allocated $100 to Student Government for its Midnight Madness T-Shirt Design Contest. Fall Bill 16 allocated $100 to Nurse2Nurse for a pre-nursing social. Both bills were passed unanimously.

Student Government will next meet Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. in the St. Leo Room.