More than 60 students, mostly from sports clubs on campus, gathered outside of the Undergraduate Student Government’s Legislative Review Committee’s meeting on March 28 to protest a proposed revision to the Financial Bylaws.
The fourth revision the Senate has considered this semester would eliminate the National Tournament Grant in an attempt “to bring the Undergraduate Student Government into better compliance with its Constitution.” According to the Senate, the grant is unconstitutional because it establishes “separate criteria for club/organization funding based on the purpose of the entity.”
The protest was organized by CJ Kottuppallil of Seawolves Rugby, Derek Cope of Men’s Club Soccer and Kathryn Michaud of Women’s Club Soccer.
Senator David Adams said that the National Tournament Grant violates the USG Constitution and the laws of the State University of New York because it segregates sports and non-sports clubs. He called getting rid of the National Tournament Grant “the right thing to do.” He also pointed out this will not affect the clubs’ line budgets.
“I understand the clubs’ concern,” Senator Najee Simmons said. Without the National Tournament Grant, clubs could only apply for an Event Grant of $1,500 maximum if the club’s budget is $10,000-1,000; $2,500 maximum if the club’s budget is $10,000.01-20,000; and $3,500 is the club’s budget is more than $20,000. Simmons said the grant needs to be removed because it is unconstitutional, but the separate Event Grant should be modified to allow sports clubs to make up for it.
“Personally I was opposed to [the legislation] completely,” USG President Mark Maloof said. “I’m happy that the clubs agree.”
The National Tournament Grant was implemented in September of last year, according to Executive Vice President Deborah Machalow. The revision was brought up by Senator Jason Sockin, who was not at the meeting.
After protestors stated their opinion, the Legislative Review Committee voted to table the bill until the senate could form an ad hoc committee to gather club input, which happened the next day.
The committee will meet with representatives and members from clubs and organizations to hear their concerns about the revision and willthen present its findings to the Senate on April 19. From there, the Senate will decide what to do about the revision.