The Undergraduate Student Government senate confirmed the appointments of a new parliamentarian, five justices, a new member of the Faculty Student Association’s board of directors and a new president pro tempore at its meeting Thursday evening.
Throughout the confirmations, USG senators stressed the importance of transparency, accessibility to the student body and the ability to connect to the public.
In addition to the new appointments, the senate also unanimously voted to approve the fall revisions to the 2015-2016 budget, bringing the total amount of allocated funds to over $3.32 million.
Among the fall revisions was an additional allocation of almost $30,000 to Campus Recreation. Treasurer Taylor Bouraad said it was evident that there was an increase in student participation over the past few years.
The senate unanimously voted to confirm Elizabeth Osei, a student assistant at the Office of University Community Standards and a data analyst for FSA, as chief justice of the Supreme Court.
In her address to the senate, Osei, a junior, spoke about the past difficulty she had in reaching out to USG.
“Before applying for this position and coming here, I thought USG was super untouchable,” Osei said. “I didn’t know how to relate to anybody, how to get in contact with anybody. So I just applied online and said, ‘I wanna be a part of my community, I’m gonna put my foot to the door.’ ”
She said her goal is to increase USG’s transparency.
“I would like to make brief templates for the clubs and organizations and make that accessible online, in case that these clubs have cases they need to bring in to us, so that they know how to do that,” she said.
With a unanimous vote, the senate also approved Nicole Mastrocinque, a senior on the pre-law track, for the position of associate justice.
Mastrocinque, who is the vice president of the pre-law fraternity and former intern at the district attorney’s office, said she wants to improve on the supreme court’s ability to connect to the public.
“I want my door open as much as possible,” she said. “I want people to come in and be able to ask me questions face to face. I think that’s a lot easier than doing it over email.”
Noting the vast number of clubs and organizations that are on campus, she added that “as soon as we get into office, we could send out emails to heads of all clubs just saying ‘Hey, listen, this is who we are, and we’re here to help you.’”
Another appointee to the position of associate justice was freshman Anupam Mahadeo. Although this position is his first effort to get involved on campus, he has experience as an executive member liaison for the YMCA student government.
“I’d first like to welcome you to Stony Brook,” Sen. Alexander Bouraad said to Mahadeo. “I’d also like to applaud you for actually coming out, finding USG, realizing that you wanna do something that you could sit on for all four years here on campus. I think it shows a lot of courage.”
After taking into consideration his newcomer status and his credentials, the senate confirmed Mahadeo with a vote of 16-3-0.
“We’re approving a lot of bright campus leaders today,” Sen. Maximillian Shaps said.
Other associate justices that the senate confirmed Thursday were Jennifer Barco, Catherine Work and Pallabi Mitra.
The senate also confirmed Lloyd Ippolito to the position of parliamentarian. Ippolito served last year as president of the Residence Hall Association and as the RHA senator for USG.
The senate then elected Sen. Lydia Senatus, a student ambassador to the Israeli Experience, as a member of the FSA Board of Directors.
FSA runs Campus Dining Services, and Senatus described her understanding of issues faced by students with specific dietary needs.
“As a vegetarian, I know that there are some difficulties and struggles that I know I have and I know that other vegans and people who eat kosher food have, so I will also be able to talk on their behalf,” she said.
Finally, the senate elected Sen. Drazen Baccara for the position of president pro tempore.