Required COSA Approval for ASUU General Reserve Withdrawal – Bylaws I.I § 13 (18), Bylaws I.II § 16 (2.19), & Bylaws IV § 14 (3.1.3):
Redbook Section in Question:
Bylaws I.I Section 13 Clause 18, Bylaws I.II Section 16 Clause 2.19, and Bylaws IV Section 14 Clause 3.1.3
Name: Devon Cantwell
Position/Affiliation: ASUU Director of Finance
Question (Be as specific as possible):
Does a request for a withdrawal from the ASUU General Reserve fund in the amount of exactly $20,000 need to be approved by the Committee on Student Affairs (COSA)?
For ASUU Office Use Only:
Attorney General:Dallas Blackburn
Text Section in Question:
Bylaws I.I § 13 (18):
18. If the legislation requests a withdrawal of funds from the General Reserve greater than or equal to $20,000.00, the Committee on Student Affairs must review it as defined in Article IV, Section 14 of these Bylaws.
Bylaws I.II § 16 (2.19):
2.19 If the approved legislation calls for a withdrawal from either the ASUU General Reserve or the ASUU Special Projects Fund, or if it approves funds totaling $20,000.00 or more it must be reviewed by the Committee on Student Affairs as described in Article IV, Section 14 of these Bylaws.
Bylaws IV § 14 (3.1.3):
3.1.3 Approve or reject all other expenditures from the ASUU General Reserve Fund in excess of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). Expenditures from these funds will be recommended to the Committee on Student Affairs by the Finance Board after approval by the General Assembly and the Senate.
This interpretation involves three different clauses found in the ASUU Bylaws: Bylaws I.I § 13 (18), Bylaws I.II § 16 (2.19), and Bylaws IV § 14 (3.1.3). The question posed by the conflict among these sections is whether or not a request for a withdrawal from the ASUU General Reserve fund in the amount of exactly $20,000, which request has been approved by the Assembly and the Senate, needs to be approved by the Committee on Student Affairs (COSA). This question arose after a joint bill passed both the Assembly and the Senate, which called for exactly $20,000 from the General Reserve to be allocated for flu shots. The language in the aforementioned sections caused confusion about whether or not this withdrawal request needed to be approved by COSA as well.
Bylaws IV § 14 (3.1.3) clearly states that only expenditure requests that have been approved by both the Assembly and the Senate in excess of $20,000 needs to be further approved by COSA. Furthermore, this clause is supreme over Bylaws I.I § 13 (18) and Bylaws I.II § 16 (2.19) for a few reasons. First, both Article I.I and Article I.II have a similar phrase at the end of their specific clauses that are in question. Paraphrased, it states that withdrawal requests of $20,000 must be reviewed by COSA in the manner described in Article IV, Section 14 of the ASUU Bylaws. Thus regardless of the language of the individual sections in Article I.I and Article I.II, withdrawal requests must be reviewed using the language that is found in Article IV. Second, both Article I.I and Article I.II have the same Disclaimer provision in their respective sections that affect the meaning of these clauses. This disclaimer, found in both Bylaws I.I § 13 (1.1) and Bylaws I.II § 16 (1.1), states, “This section [i.e. Sections 13 and 16 respectively] will not grant, override, or interpret any powers and duties otherwise stated in the Constitution or Bylaws.” This disclaimer acts to place the clauses in questions below the appropriate clause found in Article IV, Section 14 in terms of hierarchical statutory authority.
Thus, withdrawal requests of exactly $20,000 or less do not need to be reviewed by COSA after they are approved by both the Assembly and the Senate.