UB Student Association Senate disperses $4,000 to clubs

Indian SA, Sikh SA, UB SEDS and the Society of Future Actuaries presented appeals

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The Student Association Senate granted $4,000 to various UB clubs at Friday’s meeting, denying only one club’s request for funds.

The 12-person senate, which is in charge of SA’s $3.6 million budget, recognizes and derecognizes clubs and determines the annual budgetary allocations for the more than 150 clubs the student-government oversees. 

Throughout the two-and-a-half-hour meeting –– in a somewhat chaotic manner –– the senators heard from numerous club representatives as to why their club should be officially recognized, or awarded money to expand club activities. 

The Chess Club became recognized as an official SA club at the beginning of the meeting and was granted $100 for their budget. This was followed by appeals for grants by the Society of Future Actuaries, the Indian Student Association, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and the Sikh Student Association.

The Indian SA’s request for $1,000, which was eventually denied, created the most commotion during the meeting. 

In preparation for its event “Hit the Lights: Diwali Dhamaka,” the club was requesting funds in order to help offset the cost of its DJ, decorations, dishes and the venue. 

SA Vice President Anyssa Evelyn said the club already received a $1,000 grant from Sub-Board I for the event, currently has enough funds to cover the expenses and that most of the equipment has already been paid for, as the event is only a week away.

Discussion broke out with SA members recognizing both sides of the request. 

Some advocated for the Indian SA, which is trying to manage its funds for International Fiesta in the spring. Although some appreciated the club’s preparation, others believed the Indian SA should come back in the spring, if it needs funds for Fiesta, rather than receive money now to offset a cost later.

“I think if they need to get a grant in the future for a future event I have no problem raising that question at a later date,” SA Senator Hayden Gise said.

After the Senate denied the first $1,000 request, it made two more motions to give the club less than it requested. Both of these were renounced and the club left without receiving a grant.

“We want to make sure that every club here has a successful event,” SA Senator Omran Albarazanchi said. “If they don’t use all that money it will come back to our line.”

The Sikh Student Association then presented its request for $1,300 for its event Bhangra Fever. The event, which is typically held at Binghamton University, was founded in 2009 and hosts Bhangra dance teams from around the world. This is the event’s tenth year, but the first that it will be held at UB.

The UB Bhangra team, which has performed for the Dalai Lama, believes that the event may bring in prospective students, as many high school Bhangra teams will be involved in the competition.

Bhangra Fever is expected to attract over 1,000 audience members and will host international performers to the university. 

The club also explained that it lost $3,000 in rollover funds this year due to the administrative errors of last year’s coordinator. This loss of funds has already forced Sikh SA to cancel one of its largest fundraising events of the semester.

After brief discussion, the SA Senate granted the club its full request to help support Bhangra Fever.

The UB Society of Future Actuaries presented a request for $1,200 in order to send students to New York City workshop opportunity for the third year in a row.

The event is typically paid for primarily by students and the grant would help to offset the cost for the club and those participating in the workshop.

Gise made a motion to grant the club $200 more than it requested in order to ensure the trip’s success. 

“I think that we should give them the money that they ask for and go from there,” Special Interest Coordinator Erika Hollis said. “It starts a really dangerous precedent for future meetings if we start giving [clubs] more than they ask for.”

SA unanimously voted to grant the Society of Future Actuaries its original request of $1,200.

UB Students for the Exploration and Development of Space requested a grant of $1,400 to help them send 15 students to IREC, an international rocketry competition held in New Mexico.

The grant would be primarily used to pay for travel costs, as they are required to drive all of the participants to the competition.

Last year, 13 students were able to go to IREC, where the club has earned third place in the competition.

SA approved the request for $1,400, which the club will receive along with a $1,000 grant from SBI.

Jacklyn Walters is an assistant news editor and can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com