Student Government Senate voted Tuesday to accept Student Body President Domenic Volpi’s veto of a bill that would have helped to fund the Center for Academic Achievement. The CAA Instructional Support Program bill would have granted $78,100 to pay for tutors for lower level math, science, economics, business finance and introductory psychology courses for students.
Senate voted unanimously to pass this bill on July 29 and Volpi vetoed the bill the following day.
In his veto statement, Volpi said the veto was to “allow the Senate to reconsider how much we are willing to allocate.”
“FGCU Student Government was under the impression when this decision was made that we would have more funds than we actually have this year to allocate out to our students,” Volpi said.
The bill was brought up again Aug. 26 to allow senators the chance to overturn the veto. CAA staff was in attendance for the meeting.
Prior to discussion, SG Treasurer Michael Danis explained that he had done research on 10 other state universities and found that none of their student governments pay for tutors. In other universities the money for tutors comes from education and general accounts rather than activities and service accounts.
“Vice President (Ron) Toll received $8.1 million in performance based funding this year. This is 33 percent of our budget and it’s only week one,” Danis said.
Senators quickly changed their minds about the bill that they previously voted unanimously to pass.
“I don’t see how spending one-third of our budget is what is best for the student body,” Sen. Robert Garcia said.
Many senators continued to express support for the bill and after a 19-2 vote, the veto was upheld.
Sen. Thieldens Elneus was one of the two students who voted to overturn the veto.
“I don’t think that anyone in this room knew of the repercussions from overturning this bill,” Elneus said.
Elneus was unsure of the future of the CAA tutoring.
“There was a lot of speculation on the bill and none of us know what will happen,” Elneus said.
The future of the funding of CAA is questionable, and in the coming weeks university administrators will need to assess the situation.