The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Areeb Atheeque ’25 named Student Government treasurer

Atheeque wants to make the budget process easier to understand for student organizations. (Photo courtesy of Areeb Atheeque ’25)

For the beginning of the spring semester, a new face has appeared on Student Government’s executive board: Areeb Atheeque ’25.

Atheeque, who has served as a member of Student Government’s Budget Committee since last spring, is acting as treasurer while former treasurer Jordan Shaibani ’24 studies abroad.  

“[Student Government] wanted someone from the Budget Committee to take over … so I volunteered because … it sounded great and it aligns with my career interests,” Atheeque said. 

A vote was conducted via a poll on GroupMe, and discussion continued into a Zoom meeting where members decided that Atheeque would take over until the official election is held in February.

According to Article VIII, Section 3 of the Student Government constitution, “if a director is chosen that plans on studying abroad, then they may choose a committee chair to absorb their duties; if committee chair declines [the] offer, it is open to the entire committee.”

Student Government President Matwos Tadesse ’24 said that Student Government instead allowed the entire general body to vote because it would be more inclusive. He added that “the new treasurer is going to be elected with the new constitution when we do the election in a few weeks.”

As outlined on the Student Government website, Atheeque’s new responsibilities in acting as treasurer include serving as the director of the budget committee, overseeing its duties and presenting a “general balance report” at Student Government meetings when needed.

However, the treasurer’s role is already complicated by recent changes to Student Government’s Financial Guidelines, which were first implemented last semester. In the fall these revisions resulted in some confusion. Many clubs were left “feeling underfunded,” with the newspaper itself also initially experiencing budget cuts.

Under the new guidelines, clubs were required to submit requests for funds at the beginning of the semester, a revision from the previous system of submitting funding and reimbursement requests on a rolling basis.

“It was challenging because it was a very new system … so there were a lot of questions that … we didn’t know the answers to because we were just starting to experiment,” Tadesse said. “The reason why we’re doing it at the start of this semester is because we want people to plan ahead so we’re not scrambling to give you a budget.” 

“Also, people were re-requesting a lot of money that they already had in their reserves,” Tadesse added. “[Under the new guidelines], by the end of the semester, if people didn’t use up the money, we could get it back and redistribute it the next semester.”

As such, when Shaibani assumed the role of treasurer, a priority was to disseminate the new guidelines, a challenging task given that there were “three people in the Budget Committee advising over 120 clubs,” according to Tadesse. For the fall alone, clubs requested over $750,000 in funding, while Student Government had $377,800 available to allocate.

As elections for the next Executive Board are projected to take place in February, Atheeque has limited time to serve as acting treasurer. However, he expects to be kept busy in the intervening weeks.

Club budgets are due Feb. 2. Until then, Atheeque will lead several office hours sessions. Information about these meetings was emailed to club leaders via OurCampus on Tuesday.

Atheeque hopes the office hours will provide an opportunity to clarify any lingering questions about the revised financial guidelines. He also noted that the Budget Committee is seeking a “better understanding of the line-by-line items that we approve.”

“Last semester, one issue we realized … was that we didn’t really know the significance of certain events to clubs,” Atheeque said.  

After budget requests have been submitted on Feb. 2, Atheeque and Thorne will review requests and compile a budget plan. They intend to present it to the Student Government for approval in the coming weeks. Atheeque also plans to seek official election as treasurer for the coming term.

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Maya Nylund, Staff News Writer

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