By Kara McGrath, Staff Writer
The Appropriations Committee was the center of intense debate at Tuesday's SGA meeting. Appropriations Committee is in charge of allocating money to active SGA clubs. The committee has a weekly contingency of $5,000, according to committee chair Yeyoung Lee, which they can give to clubs who request funding.
This week, the African Caribbean Society (ACS) requested $11,072.62 for an event they plan to hold in March to raise awareness and funds for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. However, the appropriations committee only allocated $2,400 (enough to pay for the lighting needed for a pageant that will be part of the event), which ACS felt was an unfair amount. ACS stated that they felt the Appropriations Committee had been biased in their decision, according to Lee. Lee then made an executive decision to bring the issue to the entire SGA Senate to vote on in order to "show that I personally am not biased and neither is my committee".
Lee proposed that the Senate vote to add an extra $1,500 on top of the $2,400 which had been previously allocated. Some senators, such as Senator Ralph Dweck, thought that the event itself wasn't cost effective, since ACS plan to hold it at the University Club where the cost is $30 a plate, yet they only intend to charge a maximum of $15 per person. Others, such as Senator Luke Miedreich, stated that they believed SGA could afford to give the extra money. Miedreich said, "It's not the moon and back. This is a great cause and I don't see anyone in SGA stepping up to support Haiti…at least someone on campus is".
Eventually, the Senate voted on the matter, and there were 18 members in favor of adding the extra $1,500, 14 against and six abstentions. After the meeting, Senator Eddie Sitt said that he was "really glad that everything worked out." He understood both sides of the argument, but believes that since "we're a university; we're here to provide for the students." Senator Lee also wished to remind clubs that if they do not come to appropriations with a proper budget proposal, they will not be seen. Any club can go to www.youtube.com/hofstrasga for a video on how to correctly draw up a proposal.
In a related matter, Gillian Atkinson, the Hofstra for Haiti Co-Chair, spoke to the Senate about her desire to see more clubs participate in Hofstra for Haiti. She has many fundraising ideas, and is open to hearing more. Their next meeting is March 5th in the Netherlands, and anyone interested in learning more should contact Smith. The phone number to her office is 516-463-7222
Comptroller Brian Marquis reminded the Senate that the Club Congress for all SGA clubs interested in receiving a budget for next year is Wednesday, February 24 at 6:30 in the Student Center Theater. Budget proposals are not due at this meeting; rather it will be an opportunity to learn more about the process during Budget Weekend, which will be April 16-17. In addition, Marquis released the list of the 31 clubs which will be audited this semester, and said that SGA will be contacting these clubs within the next week.
The following clubs are being audited by the Student Government Association for the spring 2010 semester:
Gay Straight Alliance
Ha Ha Hofstra
Health and Wellness
Hofstra Gospel Ensemble
Institute of Legal Studies in Business
Korean Culture Club
Men's Club Basketball
Organization of Commuter Students
Progressive Students Union
Student Government Association
Society of Women's Engineers
South Asian Student Association
Women of Action
Women's Club Soccer