By Courtney Walsh, Staff Writer
On the Oct. 12, Student Government Association (SGA) meeting representatives of Hofstra Club Baseball appealed to the senate in hopes of receiving a higher budget. The club has been active on campus since fall 2006. Until this year the club received free coaching from founder and former President Rich Fiore, but this season Fiore announced that unless he received compensation he would be unable to continue to coach the team.
"Our coach started the program, he comes back three times a week, runs the website, and if we're not able to give him some sort of compensation we're at the risk of loosing him, "said Vice-President Brian Adler a senior at Hofstra.
Adler along with club President Matt Farra attended the SGA meeting Tuesday evening after being denied a budget by the Appropriations Committee. The club requested a coaching salary of $6000 a school year $3000,00 a semester. When the two club members left the room, a heated debate split the senate nearly in half.
Appropriations Chairman Jordan Baer, who allocated $7621.26 last week to various clubs and organizations, was less enthusiastic.
"It's very clear that they need this money, it's very clear that they need a coach, but what's important is where that money is coming from now," said Baer.
The reason Baer declined to allocate money to the club was because Hofstra Club Baseball has roughly $4000.00 in their account. Adler confirmed this fact, but insisted that the money was to remain "untouched" in case the club qualified for the "World Series." One senator suggested that the club be allocated $1500 for the fall semester, and a higher amount in spring.
Another senator, as a point of inquiry, asked Baer if during his time as Allocations Chairman had he ever denied a club funding to go to a championship. Baer replied that no he had not, however one senator reminded her peers in a point of information that, "we can never promise that the funds will be there in the future."
Finally the senate came to a vote, and with 26 for 20 against and 7 abstaining. Hofstra Club Baseball was allocated their requested semester budget of $3000.
Next on the agenda was the replacement of a senator who had resigned the previous week, allowing senate hopefuls one last chance to enter the senate. Seven delegates were present.
The senate voted, and Alex Gandolfo was selected, capping the senate at 64 members.
With Gandolfo sworn in, the senate then turned their attention to the arduous task of passing the SGA constitution. Concern was focused on an amendment to the rules of elections which stated, "the candidate's ticket shall submit a petition to the elections commission with the signatures and student identification numbers of no less than ten (10) percent of the Student Government constituency." Previously in order for a student to join the senate and senators to remain in the senate, it was required to attain 100 signatures of their peers. In order for two senators to be eligible for presidency and vice presidency they were required to attain 500 signatures.
The senate was divided; some senators felt that these numbers were asking too much, while others believed it was not enough.
"100 votes isn't asking for a lot, people go way beyond that! We're here to get in touch with the students," said one senator.
"75 signatures is less than 1 percent of the students. It's is a joke and we all know it," agreed another senator.
Still others, including Vice President Luke Miedreich, felt that something had to change.
"I am the one who brought legislation to strike signatures from 350 to 500 to go campaigning, you knew how hard Jimmy and I worked for those votes, we busted our asses," said Miedreich. "Our competition wasn't the problem, it was that 500 mark which we almost didn't make by 11 votes."
The senate split the bill, voting first to maintain the requirement of 100 signatures for senators, and then passed Miedreich's amendment requiring those interested in running for President and Vice President of the SGA to attain 350 signatures.
"I like that the signature quota being lowered to 350, it's less stress in the midst of the election. I feel that the work is balanced between the signatures and vote quota," said Miedreich.