SGA Senate approves transfer of $31k to UPC

SGA Senate passed a resolution to transfer

$31,000 to the University Program Council to help fund the spring

concert today in their weekly meeting. The funding was approved

without a formal announcement of who the artists performing at the

concert will be, according to SGA President Ralph Akalonu.

The funds approved by Senate would be taken

from the student recreation fee charge account that was given to

SGA after the purchase of the Florence Golf and Country Club fell

through last year. The country club was not purchased because of

conflicts between the city and university.

Akalonu has not yet signed the resolution into


Senator Mary-Francis Wilson announced that she

knew who the artist was and said the act was recording artist Keri

Hilson. She said she had received prior approval to research on

this subject and searched for the artist with information that UPC

presented to them the week before.

In addition to Keri Hilson, senators brought

up another recording artist that could be brought to the concert.

Need to Breathe, a Christian band, was discussed in the meeting by

multiple senators.

Wilson said she did not feel comfortable

giving the $31,000 for the acts. The additional $31,000 would take

the original live acts budget from $65,000 to $97,000.

“Just to speak for myself, I cannot support

$31,000 for Keri Hilson,” Wilson said.

Treasurer John Ledgewood asked that the names

of the artists be kept private within the Senate meeting, but

according to the Alabama Open Meetings Act, everything discussed in

a regular meeting of the Senate branch regarding the expenditure of

public funds is open record.

No members of the SGA Executive Council denied

that the artists were Keri Hilson and Need to Breathe.

According to Akalonu, the resolution was just

approving that there would be two main acts, instead of just


Senator Denise O’Donnell agreed with Wilson,

and questioned UPC Live Acts Chair Walter Hartley on if students

would really support Hilson, or even know who she is.

“I feel like if we don’t give him, or allocate

this to him, the concert will be even worse (than last year),” said

Senator David Petty.

Petty said that Senate should contribute and

ensure that the concert is a success.

Akalonu would not verify that Keri Hilson and

Need to Breathe were the spring concert acts after the Senate

meeting. He said he would have to think about whether or not to

sign the resolution into law. In order for the resolution to stand,

it requires Akalonu’s signature.

“I want to sleep on it today,” Akalonu