Updated Nov. 1 4:51 p.m.
Student Government President Tim McBride vetoed a bill that would have financed the new SG Civic Engagement Scholarship for the spring semester.
The Scholarship was going to give $1,000 in the spring to three students who do service in D.C. and on campus.
McBride vetoed the bill before the Oct. 30 Undergraduate Senate meeting after learning that there was $43,118 more in the scholarship account than originally expected. He wanted the scholarship to give $2,000 per student instead in the spring.
The Senate wanted to give out $1,000 per student this spring, and then follow by giving out $1,000 per student in fall 2012 and spring 2013, a total of $2,000 per student per academic year.
McBride said he would veto any bill that would give the three recipients less than $2,000 each this spring.
“We need to be fiscally responsible, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be a compassionate body,” he said.
However, McBride supports the Senate’s plan to give out $1,000 per student in fall 2012 and spring 2013.
The Senate reviewed McBride’s veto of the spring scholarship fund distribution at their meeting and voted to sustain the veto.
Not all senators agreed with McBride’s assertion that $2,000 should be given to each recipient this spring.
Over the past 10 years, the interest from $40,050 in the University’s endowment fund was set aside to form the scholarship. That interest has now accrued to $63,118.
Depleting this interest fund too rapidly could endanger the scholarship’s sustainability, SG Comptroller Eric Reath said.
Reath and some senators, including the head of the finance committee Al Robinson, fear that if the SG gives $2,000 per person in scholarship funds next semester, the fund’s interest will not accrue at the same rate, jeopardizing its sustainability.
“Are we going to spend more than we are going to take in, or are we going to improve it?” Reath said.
Instead, the senators propose reinvesting the interest returns into the principle, allowing the return to grow.
“Reinvestment in the principle … absolutely, positively has to happen,” Reath said, referring to the $40,050 that has been earning interest for the scholarship.
McBride does not believe that adding to the principle fund is a possibility because of the AU administration told him it was not standard procedure. The administration told him that AU has never added to the principle in 10 years and have no plans to do so.