UB Student Association elections: Meet the treasurer candidates
Emmons, Ross and Hussain running for SA treasurer
The Student Association executive board is responsible for controlling approximately $4 million of student money collected through the mandatory student activity fee of $104.75 a semester.
The treasurer is elected separately from the president and vice president. The treasurer is the chief controller of SA's budget and is responsible for the disbursement of SA's budget and revenue.
Elections will be held March 29-31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Student Union Theater.
Name: Dan Emmons
Major: Business administration
Current SA Position: Bookkeeper
Dan Emmons said he is not afraid of the Student Association’s $4 million budget and sees it as more than just a number, but rather a chance to make the university better.
Emmons describes himself as “calm under pressure and ready and able to tackle tough situations.”
He said he thinks SA needs to be more consistent in its efforts as an organization for the students.
One of Emmons’ main issues is club rollover. He wants to make it easier for clubs to receive their rollover budget from the semester or year before.
Another issue he would like to tackle is the handbook for clubs to make purchase orders. Clubs currently receive a handbook with a form to sign at the end that also includes a “Frequently Asked Questions” section. He would like to move this section closer to the front of the handbook, as clubs often hand in the form with the FAQ still attached.
Emmons would also like to revamp club orientation. He describes the current club orientation process as “long, dry and dreary” and would like it to instead focus on individual club needs rather than going through everything during the process.
He also wants to push Sub Board I, Inc., which currently only accepts paper receipts, to accept some forms of digital receipts for clubs proving purchase.
Emmons emphasized that the finance department is there to get clubs exactly what they need and said, if elected, he will do everything in his power to make sure that happens.
“I also want to keep an open line of communication between myself, club coordinators and all clubs,” Emmons said. “I will keep an open door policy for the length of the school year.”
Name: Carl Ross
Party: Empowerment (running alone)
Current SA position: Senator, Chinese Student Association treasurer
Carl Ross says his party of one is a party for all.
Ross, running for treasurer on the one-man Empowerment Party after his two potential running mates backed out, wants to reestablish clubs as the lifeblood of the Student Association, something he said has been lost.
Ross said the current SA office is neither helpful nor welcoming to clubs, as he and other clubs have been “trashed on” when coming in to ask questions and are often told, “it’s in the finance handbook.”
Ross said that if elected treasurer, he would be proactive in assisting clubs, whether that means pulling out the finance handbook or taking the club to the Sub Board I, Inc. office himself to figure out why paperwork is delayed.
He also wants to reduce the fines levied on clubs based on their budgets, as there is currently one flat rate for fines. He would like the fine to be based on a percentage of the clubs’ SA-sponsored budget. He’d also like to make it easier for clubs to receive their rollover.
“[There are clubs that] want to be some of the best clubs here on campus but the problem is at times they’re mired because they don’t have enough money, they have to keep running back to senate, they have to keep going back to their coordinator,” Ross said.
Ross wants SA to better use its entertainment funds – proposing to forgo a second spring concert after this year’s sparsely attended MS MR show, and instead use the funds for a second Comedy Series act, as he said SA did before.
Ross, on his second undergraduate degree, has been with SA since his fellow candidates were juniors in high school, previously serving as international council coordinator in 2011-12. He’s said he was upset and it was hard for SA when former Treasurer Sikander Khan tried to invest $300,000 into a fraudulent app company in 2012.
Ross said he sees his extensive experience and knowledge of the history of SA as a strength.
Name: Aaron Hussain
Major: Business administration
Current SA position: Treasurer for Students for Justice in Palestine
Aaron Hussain said he always hoped to be a voice for his community and that being elected Student Association treasurer would give him the opportunity to “become that voice.”
“I can bring change and I can bring prosperity to the student government,” Hussain said. “My desire was always to serve my community, defend and foster my pride.”
Hussain said his current position as treasurer for SA club Students for Justice in Palestine gives him the opportunity to build stronger relationships with clubs like UB for Israel and the Black Student Union.
Hussain said he wants to continue but alter current Treasurer Joe Pace’s 3-3-3 rollover program, which currently allows clubs that earn additional participation credits or hold additional club events and community service events to take 3 percent off the 50 percent of their budget they must raise to receive rollover.
Hussain wants to make a 4-4-4 program, which he said would give a two percent reduction so there can be an overall 12 percent reduction in the budget.
“Clubs weren’t made to raise money,” Hussain said. “Clubs have been developed here on campus to engage the student body.”
Hussain works in Buffalo City Hall as a Buffalo Urban Fellow in the resolution center and can propose some of his ideas at City Hall like increased bus times.
Hussain said he plans to develop a weekly packet for club events and to create a suggestion box specifically for the SA e-board to read what they can do to enrich the lives of students.
“It would truly be a government run by the students and not by a select few students,” Hussain said.
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