Vice President of Academic Affairs Derek Cope presents presidential vetoes for two organizations. Mike Pedersen / The Statesman
Vice President of Academic Affairs Derek Cope presents presidential vetoes for two organizations. Mike Pedersen / The Statesman

Update on Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

The USG Senate heard a presentation about the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and the efforts to educate students on the hospital’s progress as it continues to receive support from the community at its weekly meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, which is the first children’s hospital in Suffolk County, is now in the process of generating funds to build a bed tower, which is expected to be completed in 2016.

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital has been enhancing its existing services, including the Pediatric Emergency Department and the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which has tripled in size.

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In a partnership with Ronald McDonald House, the new single-bed hospital rooms will be built to be three times bigger as per updated New York State requirements.

Fold-out couches will also be included for parents to stay the night, along with a place to shower and wash their clothes.

Additionally, an adolescent unit will be created for patients aged 15-21. The old unit held patients ranging in age from nine months old to 21 years old.

A date for a tour and more detailed presentation for groups or individuals who want to learn more about the new Children’s Hospital may be in the works.

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Club Budgets Revisited

The Senate continued its discussion in regard to last week’s decisions to reduce the budgets of groups that did not comply with USG club bylaws. On Thursday night, presidential vetoes were presented for Alternative Spring Break Outreach (ASBO) and the Chemical Engineers Society in order for the groups to receive full funding or less of a cut.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Derek Cope presented the vetoes to explain their reasoning that “all clubs are not the same.” It was reiterated from the previous meeting that ASBO is a spring-oriented group and that the cut would “impact severely” the club’s 88 member trip.

Cope said the idea of the service group being “punished” is a “technicality and a flaw” of the bylaws.

Sen. Mario Ferone affirmed  they “can’t change the bylaws right now.”

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Sen. Ryan Heslin stated while he understands both sides of the issue, clubs do not have the “right to forgo” spending their budget in the fall semester.

He added that he could see how the Budget Committee was “activistic” in reducing ASBO’s budget by 50 percent because the bylaw calls for loss of the entire budget.

The veto for the Chemical Engineers Society recommended the club’s budget be reduced by 25 percent instead of 50. However, it would have to be decided by a Senate vote.

The Chemical Engineers Society is concerned with paying for a conference trip and Chem-E-Car that they build each year.

The leaders of the club are willing to pay more out of pocket to acknowledge their failure to follow the USG law.

With a 50 percent cut, club members will have to pay $100 out of pocket to go on their trip. The expenses would go toward car rentals, hotel fees, conference registration and parts for their Chem-E-Car. For chemical engineers, the conference is an opportunity to meet with prospective employers.

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In respective votes by the Senate for ASBO and the Chemical Engineers Society, the presidential vetoes were overridden, meaning that the original budget reductions of 50 percent stand for each club.

The budget for Black Womyn’s Weekend was also reconsidered, as an effort was made to correct the club’s issues in dealing with vouchers and leadership in the fall. Instead of the 50, then 40 percent budget reductions voted on last week, the club now has a small cut of $4,000 from its spring semester spending.

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