Student Senate enhances campus through Student Life Fund

Hello; I’m Constance Turnbull, a senior on the Student Senate finance committee. The finance committee is run differently compared to the other committees on Senate. Instead of working on different projects throughout the year, members of the finance committee work with members of the student body on various funding boards.

At full capacity, the finance committee has seven members who each chair boards that appropriate funds to various student groups, each of which belong to a council. The councils include academic and professional, club sports, cultural, faith based, Greek life, performing arts, honorary and professional fraternity, service and advocacy and special interest.

Each funding board chair reports back to the Student Senate Vice President for Finance, Jorden Simmonds, who chairs the appropriations board – which hears travel and reserve requests.

February was a big month for Student Senate finance. On Feb. 5, the 2015-2016 budget was passed. Budget allocations for 2015-16 were proposed by the finance committee based upon suggestions from students and the finance committee as a whole.

The main changes to the budget reflected the growing student population at Grand Valley State University. Increases and decreases were decided based on a spending trend analysis, and the biggest change in a fund allocation was to the Club Sports Council (CSC), which will receive a $38,000 increase.

A few weeks before we passed the budget, Club Sports Coordinator Eric Garvelink and Club Sports Student Manager Michael Tagliavia came to a General Assembly meeting to discuss the growth of the CSC. Garvelink told the senate that, over the past year, there have been many organizations added to the CSC – including the Dance and Pom Team. Garvelink and Tagliavia also explained that many students involved in Club Sports pay significant dues, and the more that GVSU can do to support these competing individuals, the more it should do.

Working with the CSC over the past academic year, I have seen many organizations grow, with the help of the Student Life Fund. One such organization has been the boxing club. Over the months I have seen the president of the boxing club work very hard with many GVSU resources to give students a place to train who are interested in boxing.

I chose to serve on the finance committee because I have had a lot of previous experience in finance, but over the academic year I have come to realize that this committee is one where you can truly see the change that the Student Life Fund makes on campus and to students who truly need it.

Finance is not a committee where I would have expected so see so much growth on campus but, over time, watching how much the funds affect students is truly incredible. Seeing how the Office of Student Life works with so many organizations to improve the on campus lives of students is one of the reasons why I am so excited to continue to serve on the Student Senate.

Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate works to ensure that the student’s voice is continually heard by the university. Please feel free to contact the Student Senate:

Office: 0040 Kirkhof Center

Telephone number: 616-331-2333

Email: [email protected]


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Twitter: @GVStudentSenate