The Undergraduate Student Government Senate passed the USG Logo and Seal Act of 2015, which removes the use of the USG seal and proposes changes to the USG logo, at the senate meeting on Thursday evening.
There were copyright issues with the previous logo because it resembled the AMC theater chain’s logo and can lead to legal measures, USG Vice President of Communications Brody Hooper said.
“One of the things requested by the university is to make [changing the logo often] very hard,” Hooper said. “It affects our integrity, among other things, when we change our logo on a yearly basis.”
In an effort to discourage constant changes to the logo, the Senate debated on what steps were appropriate to make changes to the USG logo difficult in the future. USG President Cole Lee suggested a time frame so that the future elected Senate will not change the logo if they simply feel like it.
“I think the idea of a timeline is kind of a bad idea because if we make it absolute for five years or something and something comes up that we don’t agree with, we can’t change it,” Hooper responded.
Hooper brought up the idea that there should be a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate, unanimous vote on the Executive Council and approval from the vice president of communications of the university in order to amend future logos.
Sen. Alexander Bouraad disagreed with Hooper, saying approval from the vice president of communications of the university takes away the Senate’s power over the issue.
“Out of respect for the university, and keeping in mind the copyright, we need to have their approval,” Hooper said.
The Senate approved the USG Logo and Seal Act with 12 affirmative votes and four dissenting votes.
The Senate unanimously approved a resolution to support the addition of a list of mental health and well-being resources to every syllabus. In the resolution, the senate supports requiring all professors and instructors to add contact information for Counseling and Psychological Services and specific language that encourages students to reach out to professors or teaching assistants for advice and support to their syllabuses.
The senate also unanimously voted to recognize the Accounting Society, SBU Women in Computer Science, the Tea House Club, and the Stony Brook chapter of The Supply, a nonprofit organization that educates young people living in slums.
Sen. Jonathan Rodriguez said the Accounting Society has shown initiative in its level of professionalism and their efforts in receiving funding from other organizations.
“There is now a master’s of science that will be offered in the fall for accounting, and there also wasn’t an accounting minor either,” said Eric Biedermann, who represented the Accounting Society at the meeting. “Our club pushed the initiative of both of them.”
Furthermore, Sen. Jan Jaminal said the Tea House Club can help stressful students to relax. USG recognition puts the clubs on the path to receiving budgets from USG.
The Senate unanimously approved the Appropriation Acts #10, #11 and #12 after USG Treasurer Taylor Bouraad said there was a $15,080 surplus in the FSA Management Fee allocation of the USG budget that needed to be reallocated.
Appropriation Act #10 allots $1,000 to increase desk space for the senators. Appropriations Act #11 allots $4,000 toward new computers and computer equipment for USG’s audio/visual office and the communications office and to replace USG’s nonfunctional computers. Appropriations Act #12 moved $4,080 into unallocated funds.
As part of the allocation of the surplus, the Senate designated the Academic Success and Tutoring Center as a contracted service. The center received a $6,000 budget from the FSA Management Fee allocation.
Transparency should take place in an open forum and not behind closed doors.
If USG is NOT a party to a contract with the Academic Success and Tutoring Center that requires USG to pay them $6,000.00 directly, then this payment made to FSA in their “Management Fee” is suspicious.
The Academic Excellence Fee was implemented after the passing of the NYSUNY 2020 and was collected for the first time in the Spring of 2012.
The intent was to provide additional grants and scholarships and strengthen academic programs, including tutoring services. This ended the Pass Tutoring program sponsored by USG and put tutoring back in the hands of the SB Administration. This should have unburdened USG.
Please explain the additional $6,000.00 also being given to FSA in their “Management Fee”. This now makes the total increase to FSA’s “Management Fee” $12,000.00.
Wasn’t USG contractually obligated to pay FSA $255,800.00, which is an increase of $9,704.00 from last year?
Is there an addendum to the contract stating what the addition $12,000 will be used for?
If so, please reply here.
With this additional $12,000.00 that makes an increase of FSA’s annual Management Fee, $21,704.00.
These questions need to be asked and answered.
For further clarification on the act and to address your concerns, please come by the USG office and speak with Treasurer Bouraad.
So, FSA gets another $6,000.00 added to their Management Fee that they are giving to the Academic Success and Tutoring Center “as a contracted service”. Does USG have a contract with the Tutoring Center, if they did they would issue a check directly to the center and not include the $6,000.00 in FSA’s Management Fee. As a matter of fact every student pays an “Academic Excellence Fee” which is a broad based fee that subsidizes the Academic Success and Tutoring Center.The tutoring services are offered to Undergrads for FREE, because you already paid the fee. What proof does USG have that the $6,000 paid to FSA was given to the tutoring Center if the check issued is not issued directly out of USG’s bank account? Something isn’t right here and this needs to be investigated!