The Undergraduate Student Government senate unanimously approved new bylaws for the USG executive council, which capped the number of hours per week that executive council assistants can work, at Thursday’s meeting.
Under the new bylaws, each assistant to the president, the treasurer and the five vice presidents can not be paid for more than 20 hours of work per week.
Previously, each assistant in the Office of the Vice President of Clubs and Organizations and the Office of Vice President of Academic Affairs, both of which were created last year, could work a maximum of 10 hours.
Steven Adelson, the vice president of academic affairs, said that the maximum work hours for assistants in the two new offices should match the maximum work hours for assistants in the older offices, “just so we kind of have some consistency.”
USG Treasurer Kathryn Michaud requested that the maximum combined number of work hours for all assistant treasurers per week be brought up from 40 hours to 60 hours.
“I work over 60 hours every single week and could use some help because I still can’t get everything done in that amount of time, even with two other people working twenty hours every week,” Michaud said. “Plus I have the accounting office to deal with.”
Michaud also presented an executive order which states that “any transaction agreements made for the purposes of the Undergraduate Student Government without prior approval from the USG treasurer via the proper policies and procedures shall be the sole responsibility of the individual who made said agreement.”
Anthony LaViscount, the director of student activities explained that the order was issued after an incident over the summer in which a student organization entered a contract for which it could not pay without the USG treasurer’s approval.
“The company turned around and said ‘Student A, B and C who signed X contract, you now have to give us $50,000,’” LaViscount said. “Imagine getting that phone call. It’s very similar in terms of what Kathryn is saying in that part of the process for anything that is purchased with the student activity fee is it goes through Kathryn’s process.”
The senate approved two asset grants, both of which nearly reached the maximum asset grant size of $15,000: one $14,225.99 grant to Stony Brook Motorsports by a vote of 20-0-0 and a $14,995.50 grant to Stony Brook Live by a vote of 18-1-1.
Stony Brook Motorsports’ grant money will be used to purchase a 3D printer and a welder, among other items, according to the club’s grant application. Club Treasurer Evan McPartland said that the 3D printer would be used to prototype parts for vehicles.
The grant for Stony Brook Live, a organization that provides entertainment services for student events, will go toward buying musical instruments and other equipment, including a drum set, a mixing console, a baritone saxophone and a concert bass.
The senate also voted, 16-0-2, to pass an act to create a Constitution Review Ad Hoc Committee, which would assure that “the Code of the USG and the Constitution of the USG are in compliance with one another,” according to the act text.
Timothy Ecklund, the newly-appointed dean of students, visited the senate and spoke about his plans to maintain a good relationship with USG.
“I really truly believe that the heart of a university or a college really lies in its students and that good, respectable colleges and universities spend their time opening themselves up to the voice of the students which is generally brought in the governance structure by organizations like yours,” Ecklund said to the senate.
Ecklund also announced plans to “shadow” a commuter student and a resident student once a semester to experience student life at Stony Brook University.
“I want to experience the granular student experience, the YikYak experience,” he joked.