Northwest’s 99th Student Senate created a plan on how to appropriate $78,390.68 in rollover budget funds to campus organizations, and approved the first appropriations at its Sept. 14 meeting.
One of the applications for rollover funds was from the campus organization We Gotchya, which provides free menstrual products in women’s bathrooms on campus.
Volunteers for the organization and Northwest faculty Jacquie Lamer and Carolyn Johnson presented Student Senate with their plan for opening up locked pad and tampon dispensers. The goal of the funds is to remove the payment requirements on the dispensers and unlock them, so they can be regularly stocked with products.
We Gotchya’s current funds, according to Lamer, are $12,000, and in order to unlock the 38 dispensers on campus, they requested $20,000 from Senate during its cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Senate raised the appropriations to $22,000 to help them reach their goal, and the funds were approved by the full Senate.
“Our goal is to ensure that students won’t miss class because of a period and that these products are available free of charge,” Lamer said.
Treasurer Jenna Lee-Johnson said that an application was created with the help of Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Kori Hoffmann last Friday. The application is open to campus organizations to request funds from the rollover budget.
Lee-Johnson said there is no limit as to how much an organization can request from the rollover budget and that funds could be requested multiple times from the same organization but that it depends on the situation. As of Sept. 14, two applications have already been submitted.
Lee-Johnson said the application was created to help Senate narrow down options on how to spend the budget. In past years, deciding on how to use the money was difficult and having organizations directly come to Senate with ideas is the best way to tackle the rollover money, she said.
“Our biggest priority is to get this money spent,” Lee-Johnson said. “We are very grateful that we can vote on an application already.”
Last year, the rollover budget amount totaled $25,000 when the previous Senate concluded their final session due to COVID-19. Senior Class Representative Brady Fritts said the reason the current rollover budget is so large is because organizations weren’t able to request funds due to pandemic restrictions on travel and large gatherings.
Senate members expressed widespread support for the appropriations of the funds, and Fritts said this is the best use of the rollover budget that Student Senate has seen in years.
“This is a no-brainer that we should approve these funds,” Fritts said.
Many members of Student Senate, including Fritts and Lee-Johnson, said they were excited to hear back from more organizations about using rollover budget funds.