This past Thursday, Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government held its first Senate meeting of the semester, introducing new officials and making a notable announcement about outdoor concerts.
“Last year we did an outdoor concert,” Vice President of Student Life Jaliel Amador said during his opening remarks. “This year, I’m not risking an outdoor concert.”
Amador, a senior entering his second term in the position, was discussing the ideas he brought to the table in his first year – in an attempt to inspire new officials to “shake it up” and be more creative in their efforts to improve Stony Brook. The second-year executive council member pointed to the Wolfieland Carnival as a success, but conceded somewhat tongue-in-cheek that the experience of last year’s Brookfest discouraged him from keeping concerts outdoors in the future .
The spring concert had lower-than-expected attendance and USG struggled to get students to stick around for headliner DNCE after the Joey Bada$$ performance. Post Malone will headline the Sept. 21 Back to the Brook concert at Island Federal Credit Union Arena – the typical venue for Stony Brook’s major concerts – after negotiations with rapper Lil Wayne fell through due to security concerns.
The meeting also served as an introductory gathering for the new student government officials. Christina Dorf, executive vice president of USG, went over parliamentary protocol, discussed rules for senators and led the Senate in the unanimous appointments of five USG officials.
Parliamentarian Marissa Cardinal, a recent health science graduate pursuing her Masters in biomedical sciences, was the first to be approved so she could oversee the votes and procedure for the duration of the meeting. Events Management Director Tulsi Khar and AV Director Julia Zambito, who will provide USG-funded clubs and organizations with assistance in their respective areas of expertise, were both approved as well.
Khar, a senior psychology and business management double major, previously served as a supervisor in USG’s event management agency. Zambito, a junior chemistry major, worked with the AV teams for both Roth Regatta and Brookfest last year.
Desiree Saad, a senior business administration and management major, and Thor Hawrey, a junior political science major, were unanimously supported for associate justice positions on the USG Judiciary – where they will review and ratify the constitutions of USG-funded clubs.
Saad works as both a commuter assistant and with the university facilities’ event management team. Hawrey works as a student assistant inside President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.’s office. Both new associate justices previously interned for law firms.
In the coming weeks, the Senate will vote on a Senate Pro Tempore – a senator elevated by their peers to lead the meetings each week. Additionally, a residential senator will be elected to fill one of the three student positions on the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors, which oversees FSA’s budget and operations. The other two spots are held by USG President Ayyan Zubair and senior health science major Kayley Murphy. The term length for the position is two years.
Zubair, in his own opening remarks, encouraged students to turn “rhetoric into results” and keep the momentum of recent USG successes going into the new year. He pointed to Amador’s efforts to introduce the Wolfieland Carnival as an annual campus event and the formation of a Diversity Affairs office as examples of the way USG can convert student input into action.
“There’s been a lot of talking in this body – and that’s what this body is for,” Zubair said. “But let’s turn our talking points, into doing points.”