HUSA Senate challenges alleged $ 20,000 debt – The Hilltop
By: Kayla Allen, Editor-in-Chief
Courtesy of HUSA Senate Instagram
The Howard University Student Association (HUSA) Senate released a statement saying the organization is currently contesting a $ 20,000 deficit against the university in a Press release to the Howard community on October 5th.
According to the press release, “The Senate has been informed by Campus Life that it will not be able to distribute money to students until the deficit is fully paid and the Senate will have to wait until the Fall 2021 activity fees are available. ”
This question is particularly sensitive because the HUSA Senate constitutes an important source of funding for student organizations. A portion of the student activity fees that students pay each semester goes to the HUSA Senate and allows them to help student organizations fund campus events.
“Student organizations are an integral part of the Howard University experience,” HUSA Senate MP Nya Christian said in a statement. Tweeter Tuesday evening. “Students pay student activity fees in the hope that they will go to student activities. The student body needs total transparency and a solution to this problem, ”continued Christian.
The conflict has been going on since June of this year. The HUSA Senate offered a three-year alternative payment plan as a solution to the deficit, but the university reportedly refused.
Amid the confusion, the HUSA Senate launched its own investigation into the nature of the debt.
“It has been said that basically the [8th HUSA Senate] had spent too much. So we had a few questions, like how is an organization able to spend too much money? Said Jordyn Allen, President of the HUSA Senate. “We’re not talking about a few hundred dollars, we’re talking about $ 20,000,” Allen said.
After further investigation and communication with the university, the HUSA Senate was left with more questions. The Senate reports that the university has yet to provide specific financial documentation on the deficit it has been told to pay.
“When I started asking the questions, ‘Can you provide any documentation on how we got here? “We were given arrears and ledgers that didn’t match,” Allen said. “When they sent their list on how everything was spent, we couldn’t find it in the ledgers. There were transactions that were there, but not all were there, and there were also transactions that we could not justify based on what we voted to spend, ”she continued.
Indeed, the HUSA Senate investigation indicated that there had been a surplus during the 2019-2020 school year.
“In 2019, the Senate was told it had $ 130,000 to spend, and in our records we spent $ 100,000,” Allen said. “According to our records, there is a surplus of $ 30,000 that we have not spent,” she continued.
In addition, the HUSA Senate reports that the financial documents they received from the university’s restricted accounts were inconsistent and contradictory.
“None of the documents that were provided to us were consistent, so it becomes more confusing for us,” Allen said. “Because some showed $ 20,000, others showed much bigger numbers, so we’re trying to figure out what’s going on,” she said.
HUSA Executive, Howard’s student government body, supports the HUSA Senate’s continuing investigation into the deficit.
“The 10th HUSA Senate clearly demonstrates the need for improved communication and transparency between students and administration,” said HUSA Executive President Kylie Burke. “The HUSA executive fully supports valid and responsible Senate inquiries into their deficit. We have supported their efforts and will continue to do so, ”she continued.
On the night of the announcement, Howard’s students and alumni took to social media to express their frustration.
“It is unfair for them, as student leaders, not only to miss their budget for the semester, but also not to know when it will arrive. I feel like it’s completely unfair to the student body, ”said Alexandria Allen, an elementary school major.
Malaya Roberts, a supply chain management major, was particularly frustrated that this was an issue, given the donations and help the university received.
“Having received email after email over the past year regarding all donations, and a current president with a salary of $ 1 million, could not result in a deficit of $ 20,000 from our student association. “Said Roberts,” I think it is now the responsibility of the University to make up for their past mistakes.
“Honestly, I wasn’t surprised by what happened and Howard’s reaction. Money just tends to disappear in school, ”said 2020 graduate Jeremiah Smith.
The HUSA Senate said it would keep the Howard community informed while continuing to seek answers and said it did not intend to dismiss the issue.
“We are planning to move forward with the allowances that we will receive in the fall, but we still do not let go of that $ 20,000. We’re going to have to know where this money is, ”Allen said.
Copy edited by: N’dia Webb