SGA: potential funding limits for student organizations, fees for electric cars

Photo by Samantha Bequer.

The UCF Student Government Association Senate discussed early information on Light Up UCF, electric car parking changes and funding limitations for student organizations Thursday night at its weekly meeting.

The meeting started on the topic of UCF’s winter celebration, Light Up UCF, which will kick off its ninth year starting Nov. 18. Unlike the ticketing process in the event’s past years, there will no longer be an option for advanced ticketing or wristbands. Instead, students will be given admittance to one free student night with a valid student ID, said Emily Dovydaitis, SGA’s director of campus life. All other ticketing will be done during the event. The first student night is Nov. 17 from 8 p.m. to midnight; more dates will be released in the coming weeks.

There are several incentives for students this year to encourage them to attend Light Up UCF, Dovydaitis said. A limited edition scarf will be rallied off during each student night of the event, and students who attend are automatically enrolled in the rally.

In addition to limited edition UCF Knight scarves, students also have the chance to win an early ticket to Universal Knights, the annual spring event where UCF students have exclusive access to Universal Studios for one night. These early tickets, which Dovydaitis referred to as “beat the line tickets,” will be given away at random at SGA events throughout the rest of the semester. Dovydaitis said she is hoping to give out a total of 1,000 of these “beat the line tickets.”

Another announcement declated there may be a fee associated with car charging stations on campus for students who own electric cars in the future. 

SGA’s Chief Justice Taylor Scimeca said that any students who currently require a charging station for their car on campus should come to the next senate meeting to discuss the possible fee.

“If you or any students you know use a charging station, please come talk to me,” Scimeca said to the senate student body. “We will be voting on this in December.”

The fees, if approved, will be implemented in 2017. The fee amount is still under discussion, but as of now Scimeca said they are looking to provide a decreased rate for the first four hours a car is charging; the rate will increase the longer the car is being charged.

In addition to a possible fee, Scimeca also said they are looking to increase the amount of charging parking spots. As of now there are nine total charging parking spots, but SGA is looking into having a total of 17 spots by next year, Scimeca said.

Although this idea is still in the developmental stages, Scimeca urged students to spread the word and provide their opinions and input on the matter.

“I don’t want to make a decision that’s not good for students,” she said.

After being remanded back to the Operations Review Committee last week, the senate student body discussed the bill on 2016-2017 funding limitations for registered student organizations (RSOs).

The bill was sent back to the committee last week after several senators were concerned it was not looked over enough before presentation. Last week’s bill followed the same numbers SGA Senate has used in the past for funding limitations on RSOs, which was a 4 percent limit from Senate’s account total of $939,000.

Although last week some debated lowering the limit and others argued it should stay the way it’s been historically, this week the senate voted to pass it.

“We found and debated that the policies in place should be to inhibit funding and not to limit funding,” said Scott Gerstel, SGA College of Health and Public Affairs senator.

The bill this week called for a spending cap of $38,250 for each RSO, the same as last week’s. This cap is a total spending limit, meaning if a RSO has multiple funding requests, it must not exceed this amount.