Much debate at the Feb. 14 Undergraduate Student Government Senate meeting surrounded appropriations to 10 campus clubs and the financial bylaws that can affect the amount of money clubs receive if they do not meet expectations.
Groups such as Young Americans for Freedom and Alternative Spring Break Outreach (ASBO) face 50 percent budget reductions for this spring semester. The common reason for this changes involves the clubs’ spending in the fall semester, as the clubs did not use their budgets to hold events.
John Slanover, president of Young Americans for Freedom, accepted the ramifications, saying “it’ll be O.K.,” though the club will be “cutting it close” when it comes to putting money toward its hotel accommodations for a trip planned to Washington, D.C. ASBO saw the cut as hindrance, mentioning the need to cover bus insurance for its community service spring break trip, which involves 88 students.
The Budget Committee explained that reductions are set in order to remind clubs to maximize their budgets and improve campus life in the fall semester. Senator Mallory Rothstein made a statement concerning how it is the responsibility of clubs, not USG, to facilitate utilizing budgets and that “advisers definitely need to step it up.”
For groups such as the Boxing Club and Black Womyn’s Weekend, changes in leadership led to confusion about criteria that must be met in order to maintain their appropriated funds.
Members of the Budget Committee, as well as USG Treasurer Allen Abraham, made statements to explain that the bylaw information has been made available on the USG website, at leadership conferences and through e-mail.
After email evidence showed an attempt by BWW to hold an event in the fall and receive vouchers for expenses, their budget was reconsidered in a vote to change their reduction from 50 percent to 40 percent for the spring. The cut is a concern to BWW member Tiffany Osong who said, “It’s not just us affected by it,” during a three minute recess in which the group’s funding was discussed. She was referring to the large numbers of faculty, students, and alumni that attend the group’s costly spring events.
As for the meeting’s open agenda, an opportunity was presented for students to have an impact on what general education classes will be called in the future. Stony Brook is looking to change the name from DECs and any students with suggestions can email USG VP of Academic Affairs Derek Cope at email@example.com.
Correction: It was previously reported that USG President Anna Lubitz made the statement saying “advisers definitely need to step it up.” This was misattributed and has been corrected to reflect that USG Senator Mallory Rothstein made the statement. This has also been changed in the photo caption.