The $410 price tag to rent a dance pole gave the Undergraduate Student Government Senate pause at last Thursday’s meeting, postponing a vote to approve an $800 provisional budget for the hair and beauty club, Hairitage.
After undergoing the required yearlong probation period, Hairitage is seeking a budget from the USG Special Services Committee, which provides temporary funding to clubs before they are eligible for inclusion in the USG annual budget.
However, confusion about the club’s purpose and the inclusion of a dance pole in their budget prompted the senate to postpone approval until a representative from the club is available to answer questions.
Immediately after the agenda item was announced, Senator Demoy Dobson asked, “What exactly is this club?” reflecting general puzzlement about the club’s purpose.
Though senators familiar with the club offered several explanations, the senate ultimately decided it wanted to hear from a club member, especially after Senator Angelo Lambroschino noted more than half the requested budget was appropriated to “Spicy Pole,” a dance pole rental service.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to sponsor a stripper pole,” Lambroschino said.
The pole would be used for a pole dancing party in a “sexy fitness series” the club wants to hold. “We want to explore the athletic side of pole dancing. We’re not trying to become strippers or anything,” Ciara Ward, the president of Hairitage, said.
Because pole dancing can raise safety concerns and may risk damaging the ceilings where the temporary pole is installed, Ward added the money could also be used to fund a trip to an off campus studio.
Hairitage started as a way to promote natural hair, a movement that supports black African hair unaltered by ironing or chemicals. But it has expanded over its three-year history to encourage general hair care and styling, as well as beauty and fitness.
The club’s constitution states that it “caters to having natural, healthy and beautiful hair.” It was amended this semester to include, “We also encourage a healthy lifestyle to promote healthy hair.”
In its budget, Heritage also requested funds for a social event for new members, an end-of-semester dinner and fabric for an event called “Rock that Scarf,” which would teach students how to properly make and wear head scarves.
Though not included in the request, Ward said funding from USG would also help the club to expand its hair expo, the biggest event it holds. And though the club currently caters primarily to women, “With a bigger budget, we would be able to accommodate more people,” Ward said.
Three other clubs presented requests for funding at Thursdays senate meeting.
The Health and Nutrition Club received a $629 budget from the Special Services Committee to purchase healthy food for its lecture events and the Astronomy Club and American Chemical Society were approved for inclusion in next year’s annual budget. Each had budgets from the Special Services Council last year for $702 and $1040 respectively.
The Health and Nutrition Club, Astronomy Club and American Chemical Society all had representatives who spoke during the meeting.
The vote to approve or deny Hairitage’s budget will likely occur this Thursday at the Sept. 19 senate meeting at 7 p.m, in SAC 302. All students are welcome to attend meetings of the USG Senate.