Alleged Projects Board funding violation found to be clerical error| Oct 22, 2013
Projects Board did not violate the USG constitution in its funding request awarded to the Tango Club, Projects Board co-chair Jared Peterson ’14 and USG president Shawon Jackson ’15 confirmedMonday.
While reviewing the budget at its meetingon Sunday, the USG found that Projects Board had allegedly approved $1,800 for Tango Club’s Tango Festival. According to the USG’s constitution, any Projects Board fund request over $1,000 must also be approved by the Senate.
The budget misrepresented the amount of money that was given to the Tango Club,leading to confusion Sunday evening.
On Monday, Peterson explained that Projects Board only granted $900 to the Tango Club. The extra $900 was credited to the Tango Club’s account because it had previously been transferred from the Tango Club account to the Projects Board account by mistake.
“All of the money netted out to be the proper funding amount, but there’s a line item that shows the $1,800 from us to them, which is why the Senate thought we had funded the group more than $1,000,” Peterson said.
Both Peterson and Jackson stressed that the reported $1,800 funding request was solely a clerical error.
Since this was not the first time that Projects Board allegedly neglected to seek Senate approval before granting funds in excess of $1,000, various members of the Senate wanted to vote to censure Projects Board’s budget at the meetingon Sundaynight.
“If this was the same issue arising, I would agree with them, but this was not a funding of over $1,000 that we didn’t get their approval on,” Peterson said. “I think they should have checked to make sure it actually was a violation of the constitution before they considered issuing a censure.”
U-Councilor Paul Riley ’15 said at the meeting that the USG should talk to Projects Board before making any assumptions about the approval of this fund request, a suggestion that Jackson said he agreed with.
“That’s especially true knowing the outcome of this situation, as we saw that it was actually an error in the system and not any fault of the committee itself,” Jackson said.
Riley is also a member of Projects Board.
Though the vote to censure Projects Board failed, the USG did vote to invite Peterson to its next meeting onNov. 10so he could explain Projects Board’s actions.
Since Projects Board did not actually violate the USG’s constitution, Jackson said the Senate will vote via email over fall break in order to decide whether the Projects Board co-chairs will still need to attend the next Senate meeting.
“I would say, in the future, for clarity in USG proceedings,” Peterson said, “I would prefer if Projects Board was let knowif our finances were under scrutiny and were going to be discussed and possibly issued an official censure by the Senate so that either Eileen [Lee ’14, Projects Board co-chair] or I could be there to help explain it or we can at least be involved in the dialogue.”