A decision made by the Student Association Supreme Court on Saturday, Feb. 12 rendered a paragraph of the charter review law unconstitutional, granting some rejected organizations a re-evaluation by the Finance Committee. Because of the decision, budget council, which had been scheduled for this coming weekend, has been postponed.
"The constitution says you cannot control the ‘internal operations’ which means you cannot reject what an organization wants to do," Associate Justice Adam King said at the trial.
In addition, Chief Justice Scott Silver declared the Oswego Cheerleading Association was at a disadvantage while submitting its charter because there had been miscommunication between S.A. and their treasurer. The Finance Committee was ordered to re-evaluate the Cheerleading Association’s charter.
The Finance Committee was ordered to contact organizations that had their charter rejected on the basis of content within 48 hours of the ruling. Organizations would then be able re-submit their charters with the rejection letter stating why they were rejected.
There was a mix-up that caused the Finance Committee to interpret the ruling in a different way. While the ruling did not state the tier bills that were previously passed had to be written, it was initially taken as such.
"Scott [Silver] had said that the tier bills had to be redone due to the fact that they had not included those organizations that had to be re-evaluated," King said. "But what happened in the actual case is that we said ‘no you don’t have to invalidate the tier bills, what you can do is add on the organizations that were at the time rejected because of content.’ All they had to do was attach addendums to the tier bill."
"What I thought was going to play out was that the organizations would go to the senate meeting on Tuesday and make sure everything was okay with their charter," King said. "Then the senate could have added the tier bills as a special order, then attach the organizations that had been excluded. Then they could have re-passed the tier bill and then everything else would have been fine for Saturday."
At Tuesday’s senate meeting, the Cheerleading Association’s charter was rejected again.
"The committee felt that we still had to stick to the principal that they handed it in late even though the majority of organizations, 55 organizations, handed it in on time," Chair of the Finance Committee Kris Brandow said.
The Cheerleading Association is currently in the process of appealing the decision in front of the Finance Committee to explain why the charter was late, Brandow said.
According to Brandow, there are three reasons the Finance Committee can reject a charter: if the charter was handed in after the deadline, if the charter was returned to the organization and did not follow up to appeal it and if an organization is ineligible for the tier status they are applying for.
Tier III organizations that have requested $3,500 or less have been asked to sign a tier conversion form, Brandow said.
"The reason that those clubs were Tier III before was that they got their money on day one," S.A. Vice President Ajay Lentini said. "Now it’s not really effecting them at all so, if they are a Tier II, they are still getting their money at the same time and are in a tier that more accurately reflects their budget needs over the past five years."