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SA leaders ‘forgot’ about $600k

Multiple Student Association officials supposed failure to remember some $600,000 almost left Parkfest in a budget bind.

Board of Finance members earlier this week learned that bundles in leftover funds discovered per result of a custodianship shift over the summer were meant for allocation. That didn’t happen.

Overwhelmed by SA operations and unaccustomed to the surplus, those involved in allocation talks forgot about the money, SA President Jerlisa Fontaine told the senate on Wednesday.

Fontaine, Nick Hackshaw, then-deputy comptroller, Michael Spellane, then-comptroller, Jarrett Altilio, senate chair, and programming director Joey Fambrini, all informally discussed potential plans to use the money, but never held met together. By early September, they allegedly forgot.

“There’s always things to do and like I said, it’s a very weird situation that noone’s ever accustomed to,” said Fontaine. “So honestly, I can’t really defend how we forgot.”

Some excess funds were considered to cover both Fallapalooza and Parkfest. Fambrini thought there was already money available to fund both.

With the latter event expected by semester’s end, Fambrini alerted Fontaine of thinning coffers during election week.

Learning about the funds, BOF members in an emergency move proposed to transfer $65,000 from stipends surplus to the programming line.

The senate approved it Wednesday.

Suspicions rang around the senate. Some, like Adam Shayo chair of the ethics subcommittee, doubted the president’s story.

Among others, Brandon Holdridge, chair of the rules committee, questioned Fontaine’s credibility and transparency.

“I just don’t believe it for a second,” said Holdridge. “My eyes would’ve fallen out of the sockets if I saw an extra $600,000 lying around.”

In an interview the next day, Fontaine reemphasized that they forgot about the money. Allegations of lying are opinions, she said.

Moving forward, the BOF is looking into potential use of $600,000: delegate it in a multi-year plan, allocate it for next year, let it accrue in an account, or place it in the reserves.

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