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Student Senate adjusts SAFC bylaws to add 6 new at Large Positions

The applications for the six new student body at Large member positions on the Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC) are due Tuesday at 12 a.m.

SAFC is looking for six UNH student volunteers to serve as committee members who will help evaluate and approve funding for student activities.

The applicants must be ready to maintain four office hours a week in the Senate Office or Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (OSIL) along with attending the weekly SAFC meetings. During this time students will be allowed and encouraged to stop by and express any feedback or concerns they may have to the at Large members.

SAFC encourages students of all majors and  class standings to apply for these positions. The exception is that no current Student Senate members or executive members of any Student Activity Fee Organizations (SAFOs) can apply for these six at Large positions. However, anyone who has served under these two groups in the past does qualify for consideration if they wish to submit an application.

“The biggest thing I’m looking for is really curious people,” Student Activity Fee Committee Chairperson Aaron Scheinman said.

The online application calls for “curious minds with an array of experiences.”

Student Senate Speaker Doug Marino said that he intends to look for “people who can make the time commitment” when he reviews the applications.

According to Scheinman, everyone on SAFC will get to read the applications. Every person who submits an application will be invited to attend the meeting on Friday, Sept. 16 and will be given the opportunity to ask questions. This will provide both the applicants and the voters a chance to engage in discussion. Scheinman described this as a “discussion period” before votes are cast. Everyone on SAFC can vote on these new positions for  Student Senate to then approve.

These new positions come after the most recent Student Senate bylaw change, which went into affect on May 1, 2016. During this time, all business managers lost their ability to vote during SAFC meetings along with the Student Activity Fee financial consultant and the coordinator of Student Organizations and Leadership.

With the new bylaw changes, SAFC allows for a total of 16 people to vote on SAFC spending. These voters include the six at Large members, seven SAFC senators, one from the Office of the Student Body President and Vice President, and lastly, the two Student Activity Fee chief financial officers.

Student Senate hopes that the introduction of these new six positions will allow for more “accountability,” according to University System Board Representative Lincoln Crutchfield.

The idea of introducing at Large positions actually came from a previous business manager in order to maximize diversity on SAFC, while maintaining accountability. 

“If you have a conflict of interest you are expected to abstain,” Crutchfield said.

“SAFC is designed to serve the students and their student organizations, regardless of their student organization status,” Crutchfield said.

As soon as the chosen six applicants have been approved, training will be provided to them in order to better their skills regarding allocating the Student Activity Fee budget of approxamately $1.2 million. 

“One thing I’m really excited about is that now you have six people whose sole job is SAFC. The best way to vote accurately is to know the student organizations,” Student Body President Jonathan Dean said.

According to Crutchfield, the only thing that business managers cannot do, due to the bylaw changes, is vote. Otherwise, they are still expected to attend SAFC meetings, participate in discussions and make necessary amendments.

Crutchfield described Student Senate’s past allowance of business managers to vote as “unique.” Most universities in New England, particularly those considered to be competitors of UNH, do not allow business managers to participate in voting.

The application for the six new at Large membership positions is available online via Wildcat Link until Tuesday at 12 a.m. Results for the at Large positions are expected to be determined on Sunday, Sept. 18.

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