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The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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SGA Asks Students’ Thoughts on Budget Spending

Students placed fake money in six areas to show what they care about during budget activity
Ashlin+Tryczak%2C+SGAs+treasurer%2C+interacts+with+students%2C+explains+what+a+senator+does%2C+and+urges+them+to+vote+at+SGAs+upcoming+Election+Night.+
Emily Loughridge
Ashlin Tryczak, SGA’s treasurer, interacts with students, explains what a senator does, and urges them to vote at SGA’s upcoming Election Night.

USAO welcomed students back to campus with the annual Club Social Wednesday, Aug. 31, where new and returning students could sign up for various clubs. One of these groups was the Student Government Association (SGA), which surveyed students about various subjects around campus and which students wanted funding for.

Every year, USAO receives $7,500 from the federal government to fund various parts of the campus. It is the job of SGA’s treasurer, Ashlin Tryczak, to provide a budget for the funds they receive, and SGA must pass the budget within three weeks of the start of the academic year. The treasurer is also responsible for tracking the finances that are made for some events, such as SGA elections, and that the senators of SGA distribute in the bills passed for the student body. 

“I really wanted to engage the freshmen and get an idea where they wanted their money to go,” Tryczak said.  

She said she wanted to show students that they have a voice in the money allotted to USAO annually. Tryczak used fake money and gave each student four bills to put in up to four of six buckets labeled with various areas that could be funded. The six buckets included public works, clubs, events, library cats, scholarships, and accessibility, with the accessibility bucket added halfway through the evening. 

Scholarships received 151 bills from the event, a total of 30.8% of the vote. Tryczak said that scholarships are a big thing that students want to see their money going towards, especially international students who see higher rates than in-state and out-of-state residents do.

Chandler [Leamon-Webb] will be working with the administration to see if there is anything more we can do concerning scholarships. There may be alternative options such as work-study positions or waivers for students in need. That portion is still in the works,” Tryczak said about how SGA’s president Chandler Leamon-Webb and herself plan to utilize the data obtained through their budget activity.

Fred and Ginger, the library cats, received 90 bills in their bucket, accounting for 18.4% of the vote. The funding for Fred and Ginger goes towards anything for them, such as food and toys. In the fall of 2022, the library bought a new cat tree due to the funding they received from the SGA.

Since accessibility was added halfway through the event, it only received 21 votes from the student body. However, after the evening was over, there were 49 bills that were not put in any of the six buckets. Since the accessibility had less time to accumulate votes, Tryczak took the extra bills and added them to the bucket.  

Tryczak said she believes that if accessibility were one of the options from the start, the bucket would have had more votes than the actual total of 21. This adjusted the total to 70 bills, or 14.3% of the total bills. This funding will make campus accessibility more readily available to anyone on campus. 

Accessibility has been an issue on campus for a long time. Students should not have to waste time traveling to the backs of buildings to enter through accessible doorways. The campus should be as accommodating as possible if we are going to advertise ourselves as an accessible school,” Tryczak said.

Clubs received the least number of bills from the student body. It received 47 bills from students, which was 9.6% of the total amount of bills, going to various clubs around campus. Following clubs is public works, which received 64 bills, or 13%, from students. Events was slightly ahead with 68 bills, or 13.9% of the bills.

The SGA Executive Board will have an area of focus concerning campus involvement, Tryczak said. She continued to state that SGA hopes to improve involvement by working closely with the Student Activities Board (SAB) and various clubs.

 

Luka Messick is a first-year physics major at the Univeristy of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Luka Messick, Contributing Writer
Luka is a first-year physics major from Tulsa. He loves music and spends most of his free time listening to music. Luka played the clarinet in high school and was part of his school's front ensemble for marching season and winter percussion season. Luka also plays video games with his friends. Since he has been on campus, Luka has joined SPS and PRISM.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Writer: Sept. 2023 - present
Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief
Emily is a third-year communication major from Union City. Emily is obtaining a minor in psychology, as well. She has been on staff for The Trend since the fall of 2021 and loves working with the writers on ideas! Emily also works in the Sports Information Department on campus as the Student Assistant, where she takes photos of the various athletic events and assists with the live broadcast. When she isn't studying or working, Emily can normally be found watching Scrubs, Reba, or How I Met Your Mother and enjoying ice cream on the couch with her boyfriend.   Experience with The Trend: Editor-in-Chief: Dec. 2022 - present Managing Editor: May 2022 - Dec. 2022 Contributing Writer: Aug. 2021 - April 2022