UPDATE: Barbora Hriňáková, a sophomore international business major, has been elected the new SGA Vice President for Finance
The Quinnipiac Student Government Association (SGA) is performing an audit of its finances and scrambling to fix issues left behind by SGA Vice President for Finance Glenn Adams, who will resign after the election of a new vice president for finance on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
There are three likely candidates for the position, according to SGA Vice President Sophia Marshall.
SGA President Austin Calvo says that previous Vice President for Finance John Killah dug SGA into a massive hole in terms of tracking expenses and reimbursements and Adams was left to clean up the mess.
“(Killah) essentially did not do his job for most of the year,” Calvo said. “We didn’t know that because whenever (SGA Advisor and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs) Matt Kurz was like, ‘Oh, what’s the account like how much do we have?’ He would always say, ‘Oh, we have this amount,’ and he would always be within a margin of error on the actual amount.”
SGA does not have a dedicated Quinnipiac company credit card. Instead, it uses Kurz’s company credit card. Any university company card is frozen after three purchases under $50 or one purchase over $50 goes untracked. Adams left hundreds of expenditures untracked according to Calvo. Many SGA members spent most of their weekends in the SGA suite auditing the spending. The university has frozen the card, and SGA’s future use of company cards is currently in question. The Chronicle reported about these new financial policies back in September.
While the card is frozen, no student organizations can use the credit card to purchase things for their events. Currently, finance board members are encouraging student organizations to submit for reimbursement. Calvo says that SGA is also caught up on reimbursements and that students can expect their reimbursements in about two weeks.
Adams says that the university is allowing SGA to perform a full audit of finances before a final decision is made. It is unclear about when a decision will take place, and Adams said that the SGA Executive Board is currently trying to complete the audit as quickly as possible. They are also brainstorming ways to make sure students can still spend their budgets if the worst happens.
SGA has a budget of around $855,000 to fund over 80 student organizations. The vice president for finance is tasked with tracking spending and reimbursing student leaders in the past. During his time in office, Adams tried to train members of SGA who are on the finance board to assist in reimbursements and tracking.
SGA announced last week that it will be hiring a graduate assistant to assist future vice presidents for finance. Calvo now says that the executive board will propose a part-time assistant who would be an employee of the university, and therefore have access to a company card. Adams said he has faith that someone will be able to step into his role and right the ship.
“I am confident that the person that follows me can do a phenomenal job,” Adams said. “I am confident SGA can handle this.”
SGA has not put out an official statement about the resignation of Adams or the freezing of the company card. Calvo says they will be sending out a press release when a new vice president for finance is elected.
“I did not even know that he resigned, nobody got any notification that this happened,” Giulia Capicotto, president of the Italian Cultural Society, said. “I understand why he would resign as it is a position that requires a lot of work on top of classes. I hope this will be a sign to the school that there needs to be a change in the structure of the student government in terms of finance.”
Candidates running for to be the next vice president of finance will need to get 700 student signatures, but SGA will hold an internal vote during a closed-doors session.
Calvo, who was elected to the position of vice president for student experience by following a resignation, says that an internal vote allows for senators to be able to question someone in a free environment. He said that this will allow for the best candidate to come forward.
Marshall is hopeful that SGA will be able to make changes to ensure a similar situation does not happen again.
“From tragedy, you have to rise from the ashes and grow,” Marshall said. “I think this is a really cool opportunity for our organization to kind of look at things that haven’t necessarily been working and try to make a change for the better for the student body.”