Third-year mechanical engineering student Jacob Vaught wants to create a smooth transition to Student Government’s new financial codes as treasurer.
Vaught was the chair of the ad hoc committee on finance reform. He and Sen. Camden Kaye presented an overhaul of Student Government’s codes on Jan. 31 after it was projected to run out of money for student organizations for the second consecutive year.
Vaught said he is an insider to the new financial codes on how money will be given to student organizations as one of the new codes' authors.
“It'd be good to have someone who's able to step up and build implement these codes and make sure that the process of transitioning to the new system goes over really smoothly,” Vaught said. “I think overall, it’d be better for the student orgs we have more equity in distribution of funds and getting more events on campus.”
At least four student organizations’ received more than $10,000 this fiscal year. Many requests were for off-campus events, such as tournaments and out-of-state conferences. Vaught wants to fund less off-campus events, which are often more expensive, he said.
One of Vaught’s major proposals for transparency is to have a live count of the remainder of the Student Government money available on the its website.
The live count would work in conjunction with the 50-50 semester split of the $185,000 Student Government gets each fiscal year. Student organizations would be able to track how much money Student Government has and where money is going without tracking finance committee minutes.
Vaught chaired the ad hoc committee for finance reform during the three months it took to draft changes to Student Government’s codes.
“I understand the system a lot better than a lot of the majority of people in senate even more than probably the current treasurer and some of the chair people there,” Vaught said. “I think it's good that the person who's written the new rules and written the new codes is the one who's actually gonna be able to push that through and get implemented.”
Similar to current Treasurer Hannah Augsbach Lamma’s goals last election, Vaught plans to get more student organizations to request money by educating more organizations on how to request money.
“I'm kind of thinking that we will reach out to the dean's of individual colleges, and we'll host workshops within that college area,” Vaught said. “So have more split up ones and have them more specialized to each college course is something that I'll work with my team.”
Under current codes, student organizations must have a leader attend a treasurer’s finance workshop before requesting Student Government money for a program, conference or tournament.
Student organizations can then request funds, which are reviewed by the comptroller and then the finance committee before the student senate votes on the request.
Vaught also wants to raise awareness for how Student Government serves the student body.
“A lot of students don't even know it exists or what Student Government does,” Vaught said. “So that's something that I think I would be able to help with, even though it's more of a vice president role."
Voting for Student Government positions opens Feb. 20 at 9 a.m. and closes Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.