Senate Committees

The Senate has many responsibilities, which include divvying out the $13.3 million dollar budget made up UF student's tuition money to passing bills and resolutions that will benefit their student constituency. The Senate is therefore divided into six committees, made up of about eight or nine senators, to help smooth the process and get things done.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee

According to Virlany Trabada, the Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman, this committee assists student government finance in administering Student Activity and Service, or A&S fees. These fees are collected by UF's Registrarís Office as part of student's tuition. A&S fees change from year to year, since they are recommended annually by the A&S Fee Committee and then approved by the State University System's Board of Regents.

A&S fees are allocated by the Student Senate to various student organizations. The annual budgets are allocated to meet the needs of student groups throughout the fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. Once these allocations are approved by Student Government, the SG Finance Office administers the lawful spending, auditing and reconciliation of A&S fees.

Replacement and Agenda Committee

The Replacement and Agenda committee has two main responsibilities. The first is setting the Senate's weekly agenda. The second duty the R&A committee has to fill open Senate and committee seats. They're in charge of reviewing applications and conducting interviews. The Senate President Pro-Tempore serves as the Chairman of the committee.

Rules and Ethics Committee

The Rules and Ethics committee is kind of like the law enforcement of the Senate. They make sure senators fulfill their constituency requirements and don't skip out on Senate meetings. A constituency requirement means attending an event or meeting to help senators develop a better ides of who they are representing and what their needs are. This can be an advisory board meeting, County or City Commission meeting, or the event of an SG funded organization.

When Senators are absent, they must submit a form to the committee, who when then mark it as excused or unexcused. According to Sen. Jon Ossip, a member of the Rules and Ethics committee, Senators are allowed 3 unexcused absences or a combination of 4.5 excused and unexcused absences during Fall and Spring terms.

The committee chairman is also in charge of taking attendance during every Senate meeting to ensure quorum, or the minimum amount of senators needed to conduct a meeting, is met. If senators fail to meet all of their requirements they're put on probation.

Allocations Committee

The Allocations committee is similar to the Budget and Appropriations committee in the fact that they give out funds to student organizations. However, committee member Dave Schneider said there are several differences. The Allocations committee gives out special request funds to new organizations with the hopes that organization will use the money to help it grow. They generally receive money from the committee twice before being recommended to be added to the budget cycle. Schneider said the committee can hear anything from one to 10 groups a week requesting money.

The Allocations committee also gives out funding to student organizations who wish to put on special events. An example of this would be when the Rawlings Hall Area Council asked for help when they put on a giant balloon fight.

Judiciary Committee

According to Judiciary Committee Chairwoman, Ashton Charles, the Judiciary Committee primary duties include reviewing legislation, Judicial Branch nominations and the constitution's of student organizations.

Their most important role being reviewing all bills, not involving organizations seeking funds, resolutions and proposed constitutional amendments, which are submitted to Senate. The Judiciary's main purpose is to vote on the proposed legislation and deem whether or not it should be heard in Senate.

The Judiciary Committee also reviews all nominations to the Judicial Branch, determining if potential justices are qualified for the position. They can also review the Student Body Constitution, Statutes, and Senate Rules and Procedures. Furthermore, the Judiciary Committee reviews the constitutions of student organizations, who request allocations or an annual budget.

Information and Communication Committee

This committee is in charge of advertising open Senate seats to UF students. Although they used to rely on flyers stapled in dorm or college bulletin boards they're finally taking advantage of the technology available to them. During the spring 2009 term, they've launched a Facebook group and have plans of shooting YouTube videos and advertising on the Reitz Union TV's.