Director of Business Affairs - Caggiano

Director of Business Affairs

Chris Caggiano

Class of 2013

Define the position and explain why you’re running for it.

The director of business affairs essentially is in charge of the finances of SA. They’re in charge of making the agenda for all the meetings, telling club treasurers how financial policy works and just being the person running financial policy on SA. I served as Model U.N. treasurer this year and I got a lot of experience with SA. I’ve been going to the SA meetings and I think I’d make a really positive contribution to the student association and bring my experience to the position.

What experience qualifies you for this position?

Right now I’m Model U.N. treasurer. We’re one of the highest budgeted clubs in the Student Association so I deal with purchase orders, check requests, all that. Then I’m also at the meetings; I’m participating and contributing to the debate and getting the general feel for how the school is being run. I was on budget review committee this past year. We overlooked all the organizations budgets. It was a three-person appointed committee and everyone came and presented their budgets and we looked them over. I’m also the vice president of the junior class, so I have experience within the school.

Do you have any plans, should you be elected?

I have some basic things that I’d like to see done. First of all, I’d like to see a lot more, if it’s possible, digitalization of budgets, putting them on KnightLink so organizations can access them and see what their budgets are. It adds an extra layer of transparency to the whole process. Simple things like that to open up transparency, such as finding people to come to budget review. They’re allowed to, they just don’t know that. Making treasury training a little more informative, a little more in depth so that the treasurers don’t have to come to the future DBA, they don’t have to come to Kate [Rebban] all the time with problems because they’ll be better trained and better understand the process. Some other basic things; I know I’m not the person in charge of publicity, but getting the word out there about SA, getting more people to come to meetings and get involved. Everyone’s paying that mandatory student activity fee and I want people to know that and realize they contribute. I would take this issue very seriously.

Were there any decisions made this past year that you strongly agreed or disagreed with?

I can’t think of one that really stands out. There are some that sounded like unreasonable uses of money but my opinion isn’t important, I’m not on SA exec. If I did think strongly enough I did raise my hand and speak about when there’s open discussion on the reading. But that’s their prerogative, and that’s their course of action. I think every exec has a different feel and way of doing things.

What are your thoughts on the budget and the state of the reserves?

I served on budget review so I know a lot about this. I thought it was good because the organizations present their budgets and we have SA can spend, and it was about $20,000 over and we had to make up that money because we shouldn’t dip into the reserves. There are certain things that may come up and we may need that money. It’s better that we make cuts and be at budget at the beginning of the year and then if they do have pressing things they can always come in and do a reading and we’ll be more than happy to give them that money, granted it’s something good. We looked at five-year trends of who’s using their money and some clubs don’t use all their money. It’d be better to have that money in reserves and if they do need it, they can come ask for it.

What do you feel the role of the SA constitution is?

I think it sets out what our responsibilities are. It holds certain positions to what they have to do and if someone’s not doing that there’s impeachment. That’s a little harsh and doesn’t usually come into play but it does hold the exec board accountable. We’re elected by the students and we’re there to make sure their money is used wisely and used for things they want it to be used for. So as long as the exec board is doing their job, I think that’s what the constitution is meant to do. More important for my position is financial policy. I have a lot of experience with financial policy and I think there might be a few tweaks that could be done here or there but overall I think our financial policy is very effective.

Do you think students understand what SA is? How could transparency be increased?