Jam Asia Appeals for Funding

Jam Asia representatives appealed to the legislative body on Tuesday, March 15.
Jam Asia representatives appealed to the legislative body on Tuesday, March 15.

The 51st student senate discussed an appeal process and the effects of SUNY Palooza at their general meeting on Tuesday, March 15.

The legislative body heard an appeal from Jam Asia, a group that had already been through the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) programming twice to receive money from a pre-approved line item budget of $13,445 from last May.

The club members said they weren’t asking “for a cent over” their pre-approved budget. According to the Public Relations Official Kristine Rose, Jam Asia is an important cultural, informational and educational resource that spreads Asian culture to the community.

Rose asked for four things: T-shirt money, videographer funding, money for Lemongrass  catering and wristbands.

“[Having] T-shirts, the videographer and wristbands are a major way of promoting our club,” said Rose.

Videographer funding was denied completely from a pre-approved $1,500 and Lemongrass was cut from the pre-approved $1,000 to $600. Sen. Samantha Kossin said the club should have the “wiggle room of where they want to go.”

Sen. Megan Grieco motioned to grant Jam Asia their $13,445, pre-approved from last May, and allow them to spend it on whatever they see fit, but they must provide a detailed spending list to BFC. The legislative body approved this 11 to 1 with one senator abstaining.

During the meeting, Student Association President Jennifer Sanchez and Vice President of Programming Anthony Lino also presented their experiences at SUNY Palooza.

“Every other SUNY school is watching, but they’re watching New Paltz first,” said Lino in reference to the rally in Albany.

Sanchez said those in attendance were asked to stop saying certain chants because they were deemed too political. Sanchez also said a poster was censored; it festured a picture of an apple representing education and Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the worm taking a bite.

“We can’t be neutral. We can’t make a statement if we’re being neutral,”  said Sanchez. “I don’t want to be neutral.”

Sanchez said figuring out what’s next is important. She suggested sending local legislators e-mails and making phone calls to their offices. She also briefly discussed Day of Rage, a rally organized by CUNY students against budget cuts.

“Democracy has changed, and it is no longer just voting,” said Sen. Alberto Aquino.

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Caitlin Ryan said there will be a rally in New York City on Wall Street on Thursday, March 21 at 3 p.m. about the millionaire’s tax and the stock transfer tax.

Two seats on BFC remain vacant and BFC weekend is April 1.

The next general meeting of the student senate will take place on Tuesday, March 29 in Student Union 418.