At its final meeting of the semester, the 50th student senate voted to approve funding for a dance conference, the collaboration of Student Association (SA) Productions and Rock Against Racism for an event and the approval of a bylaw amendment to the SA research grant.
In a combined group, members of the Culture Shock Dance Troupe, the Dance Association and the New Paltz Dance Team appeared before the senate to appeal for funding to the Pulse Dance Conference.
The senate voted unanimously to grant the joint dance group the funding for the conference.
In a presentation by Vice President of Programming Anthony Lino, SA Productions requested the approval of the senate to join its annual spring concert with Rock Against Racism, an event put together by the SUNY New Paltz Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)/Students for Sensible Drug Policies (SSDP). Lino said he’d met with Linda Lendvay, the SA Disbursing Agent, to discuss issues that happened in previous years when SA Productions combined venues with a campus group.
“Rock Against Racism represents, at its core, unification of all people,” Lino said in his argument for the approval. “[It] offers a unique venue for an SA production.”
Lino said that combining the two events would give them greater purchasing power in booking artists for the event and could produce a higher quality performance for students.
Some senators asked about the possible disadvantages that could come along with the combining of a school sponsored and individually sponsored club event.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Caitlin Ryan explained that, according to Lendvay, other campus organizations have felt that SA Productions favored certain groups over others. Because the school group was aligning with one particular club, Ryan said, it could create the appearance of a bias.
Sen. Marc Pottak recused himself along with Lino from the senate’s discussion because of his conflict of interest in his role as president of NORML/SSDP.
The legislative body voted to allow the separate groups to join venues, but established two stipulations for the approval. The first stipulation was that the main focus in promotion of the event should be on Rock Against Racism, not on SA Productions and NORML/SSDP. The second stipulation was that they must reach out to other campus groups to also co-sponsor the event.
“I can definitely do that,” Lino said upon hearing the stipulations of the senate’s approval.
The final order of business for the student senate was the approval of a bylaw amendment to the SA research grant. Ryan explained that the SA research grant had been created in the form of a bill by the 48th student senate one year ago. Because the bill expired this month, Ryan requested that the student senate construct a way to make it a more permanent part of the constitution.
The senators voted to implement the various changes of the bylaw amendment, which outline how funds for research will be allocated.
The first general student senate meeting of next semester has yet to be scheduled.