MCSG rollover bill sets timeline for $50,000

MCSG passed a Rollover Bill Tuesday night laying out a timeline for the process to allocate last year’s rollover money to projects chosen by the student body.

Though all previous discussion of the rollover suggested that the figure in question was $75,000, the newest bill states an amount $25,000 less than anticipated. To bring students up to speed on the history of the rollover situation and explain the new $50,000 figure, MCSG was slated to host an informational public forum Thursday night, after press time.

“We were looking to have a full, detailed description of how and why that figure is what it is,” said Jesse Horwitz ‘13, MCSG Vice President and Chair for the Student Services and Relations Committee. “The rollover figure from the beginning was always sort of a confusing number. Even last year we saw it change pretty radically. We have more money than the $50,000, but we want to keep a certain reserve, which is very normal.”

The current version of the rollover bill outlines how MCSG will accept proposals for rollover-funded projects and how students can get involved in voting for the projects they find worthy of rollover allocations. Though there are a handful of proposals leftover from last year, MCSG will also be considering new suggestions from any students, staff, or faculty interested in getting involved.

“We want to look for more [proposals] now because the seniors from last year, who were all part of the vote to punt [the rollover] to this semester, have since left the school,” Horwitz said. “We now have the fall freshmen class and, if anything, they’re the ones who will benefit from whatever we spend the money on. So, we figure we’ll keep moving with the old ideas, but we’d also like to take some new ones since people have had the summer to think about it.”

While the core of the bill and process to select proposals will not change, the rollover bill at this point is meant to be “just a foundation of the whole process” Horwitz said in Tuesday’s meeting.

To get the ball rolling on bringing in proposals from current students, MCSG will host another public forum this Sunday to welcome new ideas for allocations.

“[At Sunday’s forum] we’ll talk specifically about what we’re looking for in ideas and some of the ideas that were formally submitted last semester,” Horwitz said. “We’re also going to be accepting new ideas at that time. If there was a time when someone really wants to get involved in the rest of the process, Sunday would be the day to do that.”

Though MCSG’s vote in favor of the bill was ultimately unanimous, issues in its wording and execution were raised and discussed in depth at Tuesday’s meeting. Most concerning to some Legislative Body members was the wording of Section 2-D of the Rollover Bill, stating that “the FAC, SSRC, and any executive board member may choose to eliminate a proposal from the rest of the process. These eliminations must be announced to the LB and may be overridden by a two-thirds vote.”

Though the FAC and SSRC work most closely with finances and student relations, respectively, concerns arose that not allowing LB representatives a similar veto power would “create hierarchy of power amongst the LB,” said LB member Brett Srader ‘12.

“I don’t see it becoming a problem, but it could,” Srader said.

But what students should know regarding this issue is that the rollover is a special case unlikely to be repeated again.

“This was not intended to set a precedent for the future,” Horwitz said. “It’s just for the rollover specifically. I definitely made sure the LB has their voice in here, that’s why there’s the two-thirds ability to override.”

In the end, the language of the bill was not changed and the vote passed unanimously.

But the question still burning in many minds is “where did the other $25,000 go?” The previous MCSG Executive Board was led to believe that the rollover was worth a total of $75,000, but since recent calculations showing a total of $50,000 in rollover there has been no concrete answer as to where the estimate went wrong. What is clear, however, is that MCSG has the student body’s happiness in mind.

“What we want at the end of this process is as large of a group as we can to get on board with the outcome,” Horwitz said.