The 51st student senate discussed possible revisions of bylaw amendments after an art education appeal was made by a student for additional funding to attend an art conference at their third meeting of the semester on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Lisa Friedell, a fourth-year art education major, was invited by her professor to attend and speak at an arts conference in Seattle, Wash. Friedell is part of the Arts Together program, a New York-based program that helps children with disabilities to explore art and self expression.
So she could attend the conference, Friedell asked and was awarded $400 by the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC), but she said she needed more money to cover additional expenses such as air fare, hotel costs and a registration fee.
“Presenting at this conference would be a huge opportunity for me as far as the experience itself,” said Friedell. “I’ve learned so much about the [art] career [there] more than I’ll ever learn just sitting in a college classroom.”
During discussion of the appeal, concerns were raised that the BFC would deplete funds by the end of the semester. Vice President of Finance Youssouf Kouyo said that seven to 10 people ask for $300 to $400 in funds at every BFC meeting.
However, in an 11-1 decision, the legislative body voted to award Friedell an additional $245. This is half of what she had requested.
The appeals process sparked a discussion about revising constitutional bylaw amendments, specifically the stipulation regarding conference fund allocation.
“If you want to be part of the Constitution and Rules Committee (CRC), this is another thing you can look at,” said Senate Chair Terrell Coakley in reference to the appeals process. “You have to concretely define how you want to allocate money for a conference. Fix the bylaw to the best of our ability so future senators don’t have to worry about it.”
At the meeting, four senators were confirmed to the CRC. Sens. Kaitlyn Day, Samantha Kossin, Mark Malizia and Connor McElwaine will now be serving on the committee.
Three seats on the BFC are still vacant for senators.
At the meeting, Vice President of Programming Anthony Lino also discussed a potential artist coming to New Paltz for Rock Against Racism and some of the possible complications surrounding the planning of the event.
“[Some discussions with the] police chief is how to accommodate an artist that is able to bring a large crowd,” said Lino.
Lino also reported that there was a possibility of moving the location of the event to either Elting Gym or Esopus Hall. However, Lino said this idea of a move was rejected because it would defeat the point of Rock Against Racism’s message of community.
“Twenty seven out of 160 organizations on campus enlisted to co-sponsor this event,” he said.
The next general meeting of the student senate will take place on Tuesday, March 1 in Student Union 418.