Senate Agrees To Fund Non-SA Clubs

Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

The 57th Student Senate met on Wednesday, April 23, and discussed funding for outside groups and clubs for next semester, and passed the final constitutional amendments.

The meeting began with an announcement by Student Association (SA) President Manuel Tejada about a “blackout day” to raise awareness of supporting the proposed student activity fee change. On Thursday, April 24 all boards advertising clubs and elections in the Student Union will be “blacked out” with paper or black plastic bags to represent what the school would be like without clubs.

Tejada said some club offices may even be closed all day to represent the importance of supporting the proposed student activity fee raise.

The next E-board topic, brought up by Executive Vice President Zach Rosseaus,  concerned the shooting that occurred at an off-campus bar Sunday morning. He briefly asked for senate’s opinion on how security should be increased in the town’s bars. Some senators suggested metal detector wands, but were very against pat downs to screen people going in.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Jordan Taylor announced that senate elections begin April 29 at 12 p.m.

After the E-board announcements, the floor was opened up to the senators for their reports.

Senator James Auer voiced concern about some of his campaign posters for elections being defaced with derogatory remarks on campus.

“Politics are dirty, we all know that, but [this vandalism] is stepping up from that and it hurts,” he said. “We really need to make sure our campaigns are going as smoothly as they possibly can.”

Next were appeals, where three organizations sought out the Student Senate to negotiate funding for next year.

The first to take the floor was NYPIRG Coordinator Eric Wood, who alongside two student representatives, worked out a plan to increase funding for the organization.

One NYPIRG student representative said the organization’s budget was decreased two years ago, and since then have been looking to expand their programming further.

“The money does stay on our campus since it is a student-run organization,” she said. “If we have a bigger pool of money we could do greater things, like having experts at our hand for networking possibilities.”

Following discussion, senate voted to grant NYPIRG with a $5,000 increase of funding coming from the general programs account.

The next appeal was from Boxing Club President Joseph Russo, requesting funding of $910 for club equipment. It was declined by senate and suggested the club go through general programming for funding instead of line items.

Urban Lyrics came to the meeting to request $1,000 for musical equipment such as microphones, stands, audio mixers and speakers. One of the representatives from the club said having these materials will not only cause ease when performing by not having to borrow equipment from others, but also to teach the members audio production skills. Senate accepted their funding request under the stipulation that bought materials be stored in a secure area due to its monetary value, and that it will be available in open workshops to other students.

Two members of the Lacrosse Club came to the meeting to seek monetary help from SA. The club is faced with a debt from a private village entity.

Close to three weeks ago the club organized an alumni pick-up game of lacrosse on the field on Huguenot Street near Village Pizza.

From nearly 40 men walking across the property’s baseball field organizing the game, the owners of the field claimed the group caused damage to new grass, clay on the baseball diamond and the pitchers mound.

To pay for repairs to the damaged field, the Village Baseball Association is seeking $4,100 from the club lacrose team.

They asked for SA to provide them with a loan to pay these off since they would rather be indebted to the student association rather than in legal matters to the baseball association.

The senate voted to give the club the money to pay off their debt, with a stipulation that if they fail to pay back the loan, they will be unchartered and their accounts will be frozen, thus stopping their operations as a club.

A new committee was organized to highlight advocacy on racism, sexual orientation and other issues on campus. It was suggested that there be a liaison between senate and other student organizations. They negotiated the name of the new committee and came to the consensus it would be called the Social Justice Coalition. It will be responsible for providing underrepresented groups an opportunity to organize and foster an inclusive campus, according to the committee guidelines.

The final provisions taken was an agreement on the non-SA Bylaw. Under the proposed bill, a programming grant fund will partially fund non-SA programs that choose to charter with the Office of Student Activities. Only those who do this will be able to have funding. These organizations will be subject to a maximum limit of $500 a semester being that many organizations will have access to these funds. The distribution of these funds will be based on whether or not the organization can demonstrate to the programming board that they are in financial need. The senate agreed to co-sponsor the amendment and pass the bill, which is subject to the student voters to go into effect.

The last decision of the night was a unanimous vote in favor of the 2013-14 Constitutional Amendments which will be put on the student vote referendum.

About Kristen Warfield 72 Articles
Kristen is a fourth-year journalism major and editor-in-chief of The Oracle.