SGA discusses releasing budget info amid transparency debates


Hannah Lee

In addition to the $30 fee, students who wished to attend Homecoming were required to bring a can for every ticket bought.

Libby Cooke, News Writer

When freshman president Rosie Clemans-Cope posted an Instagram reel on Jan. 2 in which she talked about how the SGA declined her requests for them to release their budget information, it began a discussion about financial transparency.

When Homecoming tickets went on sale in October, many students believed that the $30 price was too expensive for no publicized reason. In her reel, Clemans-Cope estimates that this event alone likely raised about $30,000. “The SGA was recommended by MCPS policy to make tickets around $32. However we decided to actually take in revenue losses to ensure ticket prices would not increase for students. This information, in my personal opinion, would have been valuable to release to students,” schoolwide SGA president and junior Sami Saed said.

Clemans-Cope found that when she tried to share some of the SGA’s finances, she was met with resistance. “Sami Saed called me into a meeting on Dec. 12, 2022, in which he and another schoolwide officer explained to me why the SGA does not reveal its finances: it is too complicated to put in a spreadsheet, it is against the SGA constitution for a class officer to see basic school-wide finances,” Clemans-Cope said.

However, Saed explained in an interview that he does find transparency vital for the SGA’s relationship with other students. “When it comes to the general monetary amounts earned and spent on each event, students should have access to that information,” Saed said. 

The SGA is planning on disclosing more financial information to students in the future. “The SGA should continue what it has just done for the first time—report top-level financial information after every fundraiser. They should share the information in multiple ways so that every student can find the information and can trust that they know how SGA money is being used,” Clemans-Cope said.