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Monday, April 22, 2024
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The Budget and Appropriations Committee of the Senate holds hearings for each of the Big Five entities in the Summer to ensure funding continues to be spent in the best interest of the students. 

The Big Five entities include Recreational Sports, J. Wayne Reitz Union, Student Activities and Involvement, Sorority and Fraternity Affairs and Student Government. The hearings will ultimately determine the Big Five budget for the next fiscal year.

This year’s committee leadership consists of Budget Chairman Blake Cox (Gator-District A) and Vice Chairman John Brinkman (Independent-District B). 

Gator Party affiliated committee members include Member-at-Large Isabel Ponce (Gator-Business), Sen. Owen Lekebusch (Gator-Business) and Sen. Samantha Kinggard (Gator-District D).

The Change Party affiliates include Sen. Colin Lasch (Change-Graduate), Sen. Anghelo Gangano (Change-Graduate) and Sen. Raj Mia (Change-CALS). 

Sen. Ana Alvarez (Change-Engineering) is also a member of the committee but was not present for the meetings. 

Each of the Big 5 entities proposes two budget plans, one at no increase and the second being around a 5% increase. 

The first entity hearing of the week began July 5, starting off with Students Activities and Involvement, and was led by Director of Campus Engagement James Tyger.  

The second, third and fourth meetings took place July 6. The J. Wayne Reitz Union hearing began at 9:45 a.m. followed by Student Government at 2 p.m. and Sorority and Fraternity Life at 4 p.m. 

The final first hearing pertained to Recreational Sports and took place July 7 at 11:30 a.m and was led by RecSports Director Laura Hall

All meetings occurred within the Reitz Union except Recreational Sports, which took place at the Southwest Recreation Center.

Each entity highlighted their concerns in regard to the budget, the opportunities they hope to arise from allocating funding and the history of their respective organizations. 

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Chairmen and Senators had the opportunity to ask questions, share concerns or contentment with either of the proposed budget plans. 

The second and third hearings to finalize the next fiscal year budget will take place on Monday, July 10. The second will occur at 9 a.m. and the third at 10 a.m. 

After these hearings, the budget proposal will head to the Senate for further consideration.

Contact Vivienne at Follow her on Twitter @vivienneserret.

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Vivienne Serret

Vivienne Serret is a UF journalism and criminology senior, reporting for The Alligator's university desk as the student government reporter and managing editor for The Florida Political Review. She loves debating, lifting at the gym and singing.

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