On Wednesday, April 22 the 59th Student Senate met to discuss a number of topics, including many budget appeals.
Student Association President Osato Okundaye began the meeting by asking for a moment of silence in memory of Daniel Klein, who passed away last week. He announced that he has talked to Director of Student Activities and Union Services Mike Patterson about holding a memorial for Klein. A service will be held on Monday, April 27 outside of Bouton Hall, where Klein resided.
This was the last meeting of the semester where the senate could budget appeals for clubs for next semester. As a result, a discussion took place concerning the budget appeal of eight different clubs.
First was the New Paltz cheerleading team. The club originally applied for $22,000 and were approved for less than that. They asked for an extra $5,000 to be added to what they received and but were denied this request.
Next, the Extreme Croquet team requested for a $2,000 increase to their budget from last semester, thus bumping their budget up to $8,000. They called attention to their old equipment and the issue that the locations where they can practice are very limited since croquet is a sport that will tear up a field. Their request was denied.
Afterwards came the Gaming Society. They do not currently have a budget set in place for next semester. They asked for $2,000 for their annual New Paltz Convention and $5,000 for the Gaming Society overall. However, they failed to get their paper work in on time and thus their request was denied.
The Undergraduate Music Student Association asked for more money than they were originally granted. They cited the poor conditions of College Hall, where the music program is stationed. However, the board of trustee’s guidelines do not allow for them to pay for improvements to College Hall, since they are a club supporting an academic space. The Senate agreed to increase their budget from what they were originally improved.
Then Culture Shock, who normally has a budget around $6,500, asked for an increase to $7,000 next semester. Their request was denied. The Hillel club then stated that they were not approved for a budget since they did not hand in their budget on time. Their request for money for food for their dinners was denied.
TBA Improv originally asked for $6,500 and were denied all of it. Their request for a budget was denied since they handed in a sheet that listed what they would be spending their money on and not an actual budget.
Envied Fashion then asked for a $3,000 increase to their current $10,000 budget. They use their money to put on a fashion show that acts as a charity event for an organization in Haiti which funds schools. They were originally denied this request since $5,000 of their budget was being spent to rent from a private vendor. Senate agreed to not honor this request, and have the club charge money for the show at the door.
The last organization, the Caribbean Club, requested for an $8,000 budget that they had last year. They were originally denied this request since they handed in a list of things that they would spending their money on and not a budget. Senate voted to deny their request. The money they did not spend this year, $6,093, will be placed in their budget for next semester.
The Senate then discussed the possibility of non-SA clubs who are asking for funds from the non-SA account to go through the same process as other clubs. These clubs must fill out a supplementary form. This law was passed. In the event that a request is more than half the cap, the organization must present to the Programming Board. The Senate then voted in favor of raising the amount that a single non-SA organization can get for a semester to $750 instead of $500.
Lastly, the Senate discussed duties of Senate positions for next semester. The Executive Vice President will have nominating a chair of Alumni Affairs Committee as a new official responsibility. They will also nominate a co-chair for UPD Committee needing majority vote from committee to confirm and attend all Town Board and Village Board meetings as a duty of their position. It will now be required for Senators to vocally contribute at every meeting, and the Senate Chair will now serve as the Chair of Student Concerns Committee. Senators will now be allowed three unexcused absences. Arriving late to a meeting or leaving before the meeting is adjourned will count as half an absence. Senators will also be required to inform someone that they will be arriving late or be absent.
**In the previous issue of The New Paltz Oracle, it was reported in an article titled “Senate Speaks At State Of Campus Address” that there will be a vote this semester to approve the student association activity fee. The vote will actually take place next spring semester and if less than 10 percent of the student body approves the fee, it will cease to be mandatory and students will have the option of opting out. If this fee becomes optional there is a chance that club and event funding will be cut.