UK’s Student Government Association Senate kicked off the school year with a light-hearted and productive meeting on Wednesday night— the first-ever official meeting in the brand-new Senate Chambers in the Gatton Student Center.
The Senate approved a new $676,000 operating budget for the upcoming school year. According to the budget, $600,000 comes from a $12 student fee. The other approximately $76,000 is surplus from last year’s budget.
Senate President Dylan Byrum said that the assembly’s goal for this year is to become more visible and more of a presence on campus, in large part because they decide how a large sum of student fee money is used.
“We do operate off of student’s tuition and we want to be great stewards with that money,” Byrum said after the meeting. “We want to make sure we do everything we can to help (the students). After all, that is our job.”
Student Government Association Vice President Noor Ali said much the same, as she urged senators to bring their friends “or enemies” to Senate meetings.
“It’s so so important for the student body to know what we do,” Ali told the assembly. “The money that’s in our budget is from them, it’s from you guys. So it’s not fair for us to use a budget and they not even know what we do.”
Ali stressed that there is a time at the end of every Senate meeting when anyone come and speak before the Senate about any issues they have.
“So bring people,” she said. “We even brought a dog today.”
Throughout the meeting, a beagle mix named Penny weaved her way through the four rows of squeaky new office chairs and spacious wooden desks, stopping only occasionally to examine a purse or backpack on the ground.