Student Body Treasurer Hannah Augsbach Lamma, a second-year international business and accounting student, wants to revitalize the newly reestablished treasurer position after petitioning to bring it back.
"I saw a need for it," Augsbach Lamma said. "I don't do things superficially, if I see a need for something then that's what I'm going to definitely target."
The position of treasurer was initially removed during the 2021 election with the intention of making the process more efficient for student organizations to request funding from Student Government's activity fund, which is allocated to student organizations upon request.
After the position of treasurer was removed, Augsbach Lamma said that Student Government struggled for several weeks to appoint a Secretary of Finance to take on the role. As chair of the finance committee, Augsbach Lamma said she had to step up and fulfill some duties a treasurer would normally be taking on.
"I basically created the treasurer's workshop that semester because we didn't have someone to do it yet," Augsbach Lamma said.
Augsbach Lamma said that as chairwoman of the finance committee of student senate, she heard a majority of feedback from student organizations who were confused and frustrated with not having a specific person to handle their funding requests.
“When student organization leaders would come in for dialogues for their weekly requests, we were the people they were getting faced with,” Augsbach Lamma said. “They were coming in-person to us and telling us how frustrating it was, so my committee figured out very quickly that that was not going to fly for every single year.”
After discussing with student organization leaders and speaking with other executives in Student Government, Augsbach Lamma decided to lead the referendum to bring back the position of student body treasurer.
“She crafted that legislation for a very long time, and she took amendments to it and she gathered input from all of us," Sree Pasumarthi, third-year finance, economics and operations and supply chain management student and vice chair of the student senate finance committee, said. "And I do think Hannah's very well prepared for the treasurer's role because she had to play a bigger role as the chair of the finance committee without the treasurer this year. So she's very knowledgeable when it comes to working with the rest of student government."
After successfully bringing back the position of treasurer, Augsbach Lamma was not sure if she wanted to take on the new role and leave her position as the chair of the finance committee, but she ultimately decided that she did not want to leave the job unfinished.
“I just felt like I wanted to be there to really aid in that transition. I felt like I had worked so closely with this for so long, it didn't feel right to just abandon it,” Augsbach Lamma said.
During her campaign, Augsbach Lamma promised to not only streamline the funding process, but also to keep an open line of communication with student organizations. She said that her time as the chair of the finance committee showed her the grievances student organizations had with the funding process and what she could do to change them.
Augsbach Lamma said she still plans to accomplish these goals by recruiting comptrollers who communicate directly with student organizations and continuing to hold treasurer workshops.
“Ultimately, my job as an executive is to be a voice for the students. So, pretty much, my platform came directly from them,” Augsbach Lamma said. "They were telling me that they were confused about the process that it wasn't being communicated well to them, that they didn't know who to talk to. So my goal is to alleviate that."
One of Augsbach Lamma's main priorities as treasurer was to recruit comptrollers who are passionate about the position and committed to fulfilling their duties. Comptrollers, who oversee specific student organizations and assist the treasurer in processing funding requests, are also positions that are being brought back after being replaced by the deputy secretaries of finance.
"I think that (the deputy secretaries of finance) didn't know what they were signing up for," Augsbach Lamma said. "So I made sure while I was interviewing comptrollers, that they knew what they were signing up for."
Augsbach Lamma said she also intends to increase the student activity fund after the fund ran out because of what Augsbach Lamma said is a record number of student organizations requesting funding for this semester.
“(The fund) has not been increased in a couple of years,” Augsbach Lamma said. “I think that’s part of the reason why it was used so quickly. And, yes, we want to use the entire budget, but also not that quickly.”
Sean Deuty, Augsbach Lamma's chief of staff, said that not being able to approve funding for the rest of the semester will give them time to reestablish the treasurer's office. Deuty said that he's confident in Augsbach Lamma's ability to quickly become accustomed to her new position.
"I think she's definitely a very quick learner and able to adapt to whatever position that she's in or whatever she has to do," Deuty said. "
Augsbach Lamma also wants to work with Student Body Vice President Abrianna Reeves to encourage student organizations to request funding as far in advance as possible so that they’re able to secure funding before the student activity fund runs out. She plans to inform student organizations about early requests through her treasurer workshops, which she will organize several times throughout the semester.
Besides policy, Augsbach Lamma said she ultimately wants to establish herself as a resource for people within Student Government to come to with any questions and problems they might have.
"They know and I've always said this, I am here as a resource for them. I make it such a point to never put a divide between us in any way," Augsbach Lamma said.