Screenshot via stonybrookusg.org. Photo features last year’s Student Activities Board.
By Trevor Christian
Undergraduate Student Government Vice President of Student Life Kenneth Myers presented a set of Student Activities Board Bylaws on Thursday that passed in a nearly unanimous vote at the weekly senate meeting.
The Student Activity Board is the entity within Undergraduate Student Government that uses its $610,000 to put on large events on campus, including the Back to the Brook and Spring Concerts, Rock-Yo-Face-Case and Humans Vs. Zombies.
President Garry Lachhar encouraged the senate to vote for the bill after a senator asked for his opinion.
“Coming from my background last year as VP of Student Life, this makes a lot of sense,” Lachhar said. “The VP of Student Life should be held more accountable for things that happen under his position.”
The most significant change came in the form of the removal of the Agency of the Student Activities Board. The agency was previously responsible for planning and executing events on behalf of the student-run government while the Student Activity Board served as its board of directors. These responsibilities will now fall directly on the Student Activity Board and assistants from the Office of Student Life.
Myers, an active member of student-run government since the last time the bylaws were updated during the Lubitz administration, told senators the Agency of the Student Activity Board had not proven to be necessary.
“It had some original intentions to it, being that someone would continue the position throughout the years,” Myers said, adding that an underclassman could learn the job early and be able to work more effectively in later years. That student would also serve as an assistant to the VP of Student Life, he added.
“It’s never been one student who continues the position for more than a year,” Myers said. Also, he pointed out, the VP of Student life has assistants now.
Myers added that he had already proven able to handle the additional responsibilities. The role of the Agency of the Student Activities Board director was not filled at the time the bill was passed and Myers’ office had been picking up the slack. Former President Adil Hussain had briefly filled the role at the start of the semester. The new bill, Myers said, would codify a system that had already been succeeding for Undergraduate Student Government and would not mean any more people will be working on events, just different ones.
The senate also struck a requirement that certain committees which serve to plan events meet each year. Myers said that it is possible that committees like the one that plans Humans Vs. Zombies might not be needed in a few years if student interest wanes.
“It should be a very fluid system as the need for committees come and go,” Myers told the senate.
Other notes from Thursday’s Meeting:
The Hula Hoop Enthusiasts Club was acknowledged in a vote of 18-0-1 after stating their mission was to get Stony Brook University “movin’ and groovin’.” The Persian-American Representative Society was acknowledged as well.
The Sailing Team acquired a boat valued at at least $25,000 through a donation. The boat will be the largest donation ever made to the Undergraduate Student Government, said Administrative Director Thomas Kirnbauer. It will cost at least $4,000 per year in upkeep, insurance and docking fees. The senate approved its acquisition.
The Senate Bylaws received further revisions, with the most controversial and important involving a change to legislative review. Substantive revisions to a bill made in legislative review will be presented to the senate by the committee after the author presented the original. In the past, senators were given the version passed by legislative review only.
At the suggestion of Executive Vice President James Alrassi, legislative review will now be tasked with updating legislation with amendments made in senate sessions before the bill lands on his position’s desk.