By Alyssa Sanford
Two clubs sought Student Government recognition on Wednesday, Sept. 23, during a general body meeting fraught with debate over two new bills.
Women in Business, already deemed by the Governmental Affairs (GA) committee to be “active on campus” and effective in promoting “gender equality in the workplace,” appeared before the general body first.
The group has 26 charter members that represent all four classes, and unlike other organizations on campus that promote equality for women, the club’s membership is not solely restricted to women.
According to GA, the Women in Business already has several events planned that are designed “to give students confidence in the workplace,” such as a plan for advocates of the He for She campaign to speak at the College. Women in Business needs SG recognition in order to apply for SFB funding for these events. With no debate prior to the vote, SG ruled to formally recognize the club.
Next, TCNJ Entrepreneurship Club (TCNJEC), a club that aims to “encourage innovation” among hopeful entrepreneurs, according to GA, also presented to the general body.
TCNJEC has 25 charter members and half of the new members are freshmen who are interested in growing the organization, according to GA.
It’s a unique organization, according to TCNJEC executive board members, because students don’t have to be business majors to join. Ultimately, SG members voted to recognize the club after discussing the passage at great length.
Next, Vice President of Governmental Affairs Ceili Boles presented B-F2015-03, a bill that proposes to restrict elected members studying away for a semester from holding onto their positions. Prior to engaging in a domestic or international study abroad experience, elected members must resign from their posts.
General body members launched into a spirited debate about the merits of denying elected members the opportunity to work for SG while studying abroad before junior class President Robert Kinloch moved to table the debate until the next meeting — a motion which passed easily.
B-F2015-04, a bill that restricts students set to graduate early from running for class council or cabinet member positions, was met with equally fervent debate and resulted in a split vote.
In order to pass the bill, “two-thirds of the elected members” needed to vote yes, said Alternate Student Trustee Ryan Molicki, which would have been 42 votes in favor of the bill.
After tallying the votes, only 40 elected members voted in favor, 15 members dissented and 13 members abstained from the vote, making it impossible to pass.
Two more bills, B-F2015-05 and B-F2015-06, had to be tabled for debate at the next meeting due to pressing time concerns.
Later, Vice President of Equity and Diversity Priscilla Nunez, speaking on behalf of Executive Vice President Javier Nicasio, announced that Homecoming 2015 was fully funded by SFB for nearly $9,000, amid loud applause.
Amanda Williams, vice president of Advancement, announced that the scholarship for an SG member “who exemplifies our best features,” is about $3,000 short of its fundraising goal, but SG is on track to fulfilling the goal by the end of the semester.
“I really think that we can do this, and it would be great to say that we were the Student Government that did,” Williams said.
Nunez reminded everyone to attend “A Touch of Home” in Alumni Grove on Monday, Sept. 28, during meal equivalency hours.
Advisor Elizabeth Bapasola, who was part of the College administration’s efforts to create Lions’ Gate last year, announced that “about two-thirds of the campus” are using the new program.
“We have about 4,500 students, faculty and staff using it, (although many of the users likely don’t know how to use it) to full capacity,” Bapasola said. General body members noted that the Passport to Programming seminar on Saturday, Sept. 19, provided attendees with a foundation for using Lions’ Gate, but many students may still need training. According to Bapasola, Lions’ Gate is SAF-funded, adding that “you are all helping fund it.”
Next, senior class President Emily Montagna informed the general body that Senior Night, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22 at Bar Anticipation, was canceled due to transportation conflicts.
Though the senior class had 320 seniors signed up for the event and “two extra buses” ready to transport participants, a College restriction on events that include alcohol consumption mandated that the bus drivers would need to drop off each attendee individually at their residence, Montagna said. The bus company backed out at the last minute, but as they hadn’t been paid for their services yet, the senior class is able to refund those who put down deposits.
Sophomore class President Kelsey Capestro agreed that it was “a bad week for class councils,” as their Moonlight Cruise fundraiser was “zero funded” by SFB, meaning that they can’t petition for funding for a cruise event again.