The West Virginia University Student Government Association tabled a vote for a grant instructions and request at its Wednesday meeting after a miscommunication.
The Indian Student Association applied for a SGA grant, it but failed to attend Wednesday’s meeting. According to the Student Body constitution, approved during February’s election, members of the organizations must be present at the meeting before grants can be approved.
SGA will vote on the grant request when the two groups meet.
SGA Treasurer Shannon Veyon said there were communication issues between the group’s adviser and the ISA member who submitted the grant application. She said she was in contact with both parties.
The Student Body Constitution also states SGA’s treasurer must facilitate, monitor and promote the access of student organizations that apply for grants. Chief of Staff Daniel Brummage spoke on behalf of the ISA during open student forum, stating the organization was unaware it was necessary to attend the meeting. No one from the group could attend after such short notice, he said.
“This is the biggest event held in the Mountainlair all year,” he said. “Almost a thousand people attend this event, and it’s the kickoff for International Week. They really need this money this week, so it’s really ultra-time sensitive.”
Attorney General Matt Gutta responded by explaining that ISA has worked with SGA in the past and should have been aware of the regulations for the grant approval process.
Gutta informed the Board it can handle the situation “retroactively.”
“If, for some reason, they can go and have their event and apply for a grant retroactively then we can grant that to them within the next week,” he said. “It is a group’s responsibility to be here whenever they present this.”
SGA President Chris Lewallen reminded the board that this is the first year it has been mandatory for a member of a student organization to be present during the meeting in order to receive a grant.
Gov. Jason Bailey pointed out to the BOG’s reasons for making changes to the grant process from the previous SGA administration.
“It does explicitly say in the grant application that the organization must be present at the meeting to receive the grant,” he said.
“I don’t want to go off with precedents from past administrations because this is us, and this is our new grant application procedure.”
Gutta added it is not the responsibility of the BOG to correct any miscommunication.
Vice President Ron Cheng applauded the Board for sticking to the changes it made in the grant process.
“As an officer of another organization, speaking as not your vice president but as a student, I think that you guys need to enforce a time notice,” Cheng said.
Cheng said he would look into the miscommunication.
(Written by Sarah O’Rourke for The Daily Athenaeum)