The Undergraduate Student Government senate passed new bylaws for the senate and the Student Activities Board (SAB), effectively dissolving the Agency of the Student Activities Board (ASAB) and the Office of Law Revision, at the senate meeting Thursday evening.
Vice President of Student Life Kenneth Myers said he removed all mention of the ASAB from the new SAB bylaws. ASAB was supposed to “propose, plan, and execute events and activities on behalf of the USG with the consent of the USG SAB to improve student life on the campus of Stony Brook University,” according to the old bylaws.
Myers also removed all mention of the position of the director of the ASAB, a position which he said was originally intended to be an assistant to the vice president of Student Life. Myers said the director’s position is now defunct because the vice president of student life can hire his or her own assistants.
“Two of the reasons why I’m trying to remove ASAB is because it kind of adds a lot of red tape to the process of planning events and booking events, and there were also a lot of extra processes,” Myers said. “Like they would form committees, and they’re supposed to plan events and propose events to SAB, but I would do that in conjunction with them anyway, so it doesn’t make sense to have another guy doing that.”
The senate passed new SAB bylaws by a vote of 18-0-1.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Steven Adelson said that the section of the senate bylaws that describes the Office of Law Revision was taken out of the new bylaws because the purpose of the office is fulfilled by the senate’s Legislative Review committee, which is “responsible for reviewing all proposed legislation that is intended to be discussed and approved by the Senate,” according to the new bylaws.
Adelson went on to say that the Legislative Review committee can make orthographic changes to legislation, such as word usage, grammar and spelling. However, substantive changes that affect the meaning of the legislation and are not deemed “friendly” by the legislation’s author are a different story.
“When the document is presented to the senate, it is presented by the author without the change,” Adelson said. “But then Leg Review makes their case that this is what they think appropriate for the document.”
The new senate bylaws also have sections outlining the duties and responsibilities of the senate’s standing committees and the different leadership positions within each committee, including the committee chair and recording secretary.
The senate passed the new senate bylaws with a unanimous vote.
The senate then unanimously approved the donation of a sailboat to the Sailing Team by a doctor from Stony Brook University Hospital.
The senate’s grant committee already approved an asset grant of $4,000 to cover operating costs of the boat for this year. However, the boat would be put on USG’s insurance policy, and the operating costs for future years will have to come out of the Sailing Team’s line budget, USG Treasurer Kathryn Michaud said.
“This is probably the largest donation that has ever been made to USG,” Administrative Director Thomas Kirnbauer said. “Not just a specific club but USG in general, which is awesome. We’re very excited for it. We just want the senate to give a thumb’s up to say that, with accepting this donation, there does come some financial implications and that you’re aware of it and that you’re still willing to proceed for the benefit of the club.”
Michaud said the boat is valued at $26,000, and the Sailing Team’s treasurer Avi Mayerhoff said the boat is a 32-foot racer-cruiser to be used for both competition and training.
“When we put our sails up there will be a nice big ‘Stony Brook University’ on it, and we’ll be sailing around Port Jefferson Harbor, so we’re very excited about that,” Mayerhoff said.
Mayerhoff identified the donor of the sailboat as Harvey Farberman, the director of the Center for Aging Policy Research.
The senate also officially acknowledged two on-campus organizations: Hula-Hoop Enthusiasts by a vote of 18-0-1, and the Persian American Representative Society by a vote of 19-0-0.
“We want to share our passion for hula hoops with the campus community and we want to get people moving and grooving and feeling good about themselves,” Lily Nack, the president of Hula-Hoop Enthusiasts, said.
Maedeh Safari, the Persian American Representative Society treasurer, said her organization is “trying to just continue to teach the campus community our culture and language.”