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Women’s Lacrosse team retains recognition

SA Senate votes to recognize the team, defers probation status

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After a motion to derecognize the Women’s Lacrosse team failed 7-5-4, the SA Senate decided to recognize the team at a meeting Friday night, but deferred the team’s probation status to SA’s Executive Board.

An Instagram account linked to the team surfaced in May, resulting in the team’s probation and budget being set to $0. Former Executive Board Vice President Gina Nasca notified the team of their probation in an email May 14.

SA Attorney Joshua Korman said he hadn’t seen the case’s evidence until the Senate meeting on Nov. 10.

Korman said he spoke with members of last year’s team, including then-rookies and this year’s e-board. Korman felt that the team’s responses were highly positive and included no indication of hazing during the team’s rookie night. Korman couldn’t comment on the authenticity of these responses, but concluded that he had no new evidence to provide to the Senate. He presented his findings before the Senate’s vote.

“Evidence was submitted that could potentially establish the following violations of SA rules by the club,” Korman said. “Without limitations to any other rules that might apply; hazing, harassment and unauthorized off the books club event(s) violating at a minimum SA’s policies concerning alcohol at SA’s events.”

Korman felt that last year’s e-board acted accordingly by placing the team on probation and revoking their $8,000 budget. He explained that the evidence from the team’s Instagram account gave previous leaders more than enough reason to take disciplinary action against the team.

“It is my belief that those photos together with the accompanying captions could constitute a sufficient basis for the Senate to derecognize the club for violation of SA rules,” Korman said. “Likewise, I believe that those photos and accompanying captions could have constituted a sufficient basis for other student leaders to place the club on probation or suspension, freeze the club’s budget and/or disallow budget rollover.”

Korman expressed that the Senate did not have to derecognize the club and that he left it up to their discretion to ultimately decide the fate of the club. During its meeting on Sept. 29, the Senate unanimously decided to not derecognize the team and with no new evidence, Korman did not feel that it was necessary to change that ruling.

Although the team will retain their recognition, Nasca’s decision on their budget and probation status will remain effective until the current e-board decides to remove them from probation.

Janet Austin, senior exercise science major and SA executive board treasurer, explained why the decision is in the e-board’s hands after the Senate voted to recognize the club.

“Since all motions by the SA Senate failed –– the motion to resolve Women's [Lacrosse] of their status and the motion to derecognize –– SA Senate has effectively given the decision to the SA Executive Board,” Austin said. “When we feel it is appropriate we will bring the matter back to Senate to be resolved. Women's Lacrosse can fully function as a club –– have meetings, events, etc. –– but as the original letter states they are still on probation.”

Janet also stated that the club did not meet their 2-2-2-2 requirements from last year and did not qualify for their rollover money. All SA clubs are given the chance to appeal this decision, and if the lacrosse team chooses to, they can present evidence to argue this decision.

“The club has a $0 [budget] that was determined and approved by last year's Emergency Powers Council,” Austin said. “Since only one track sheet was submitted for Women's Lacrosse last year, it appears as though they did not meet the requirements to receive their rollover. I have given them the same opportunity as the other clubs to appeal their rollover decision.”

Some of the team’s rollover money came from donations from club participants’ family members. Donations of up to $1,000 have been dispersed to other money lines within SA.

Jamersin Redfern, SA vice president and senior psychology major, said SA is open to discussing reimbursement and re-donating the money to the current lacrosse team.

“If [family members] reached out it would be something we would take care of,” Redfern said. “Basically, we would reimburse them, just because it’s the right thing to do.”

The e-board decided the entire team must complete an anti-hazing workshop, reinforcing UB's zero tolerance policy regarding hazing. After the team completes the course, the e-board will consider taking the team off probation. This will return the team to a normal status after seven months.

“There is a culture of hazing with the team in years past and we want to make sure they have proper resources and education,” Austin said.

Members of the lacrosse team are happy that the matter is finally coming to an end.

Madeleine Carroll, a junior biomedical sciences major and vice president of the Women’s Lacrosse team, wants to put the matter in the past and looks forward to their spring season.

“We appreciate both Senate and SA working together the last two weeks to help us work through the miscommunication and problems we were having getting the lacrosse team up and running,” Carroll said. “We are happy with their decision to let us remain an SA club and we look forward to working with SA to come out of this situation a better team overall.”

Max Kalnitz is the senior features editor and can be reached at max.kalnitz@ubspectrum.com


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