This past Monday, the Student Congress met for the first time since winter break to discuss updates and events for the coming semester.

Updates from Student Association President Alexander Liu included the collaboration between the Graduate Student Organization and undergraduate students, contract renewal talks with Sodexo and an upcoming information session about taxi rider rights. He also mentioned a general interest meeting for students to learn more about the SA and available positions.

Additions that were approved by the Financial Council (FinCo) included an amendment called Equal/Lower Funding (ELF) Review, in which any group that requested the same or lower budget as the previous year could bypass a hearing process and automatically receive their requested budget.

Congress member Nicholas Ferrara, a sophomore majoring in economics, wanted to amend the proposal to have each Congress member be responsible for hearing appeals from three campus organizations, which stirred a debate. His proposal failed to pass.

Thomas Sheehan, a senior double-majoring in political science and economics and the SA vice president for finance, said that his changes were overall very subtle.

“What I really did to the budget process was add an ELF Review section,” Sheehan said. “Pretty much everything else I left the same, because I think if you keep things the same from year to year, it benefits student groups because there’s not too many surprises.”

The vice president for academic affairs, Don Greenberg, discussed proposals to math requirements, including allowing students to be able to replace Calculus 2 with a higher level class.