SGA allocates $0 for Equestrian Club trail ride

Equestrian Club members present their funding requests to SGA. (Donald Halsing / THE GATEPOST)

SGA discussed multiple campus difficulties and several funding requests during its Nov. 13 meeting.

During Open Forum, Senator Danielle Shaw said May Hall ceilings are damaged in some areas, leading to water “pouring” into classrooms and stairwells.

“Between the second and third floors, it was pretty much raining inside,” Shaw said.

Vice President Alex Backer echoed this sentiment, saying other students have reported to him that buildings such as Horace Mann have “giant, gaping holes” in some bathrooms.

“I don’t know if we should be concerned about that, but that’s something,” he said.

Senator Abigail Salvucci said some commuter students have complained to her about the inconvenience of class scheduling as they registered for the spring 2019 semester.

She said of a friend, “She tries to work 40 hours a week, but since it takes 30 minutes for her to get here, it’s not possible. … Looking at next semester, there’s not a lot of options for her. She doesn’t want to be here morning and night.”

President Ben Carrington and Senator Matthew Bennet, the two commuter students present at the meeting, agreed class times are inconvenient for them and other commuters.

Carrington said Linda Vaden-Goad, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will be coming some time in the next few weeks to give a presentation on the progress of proposed changes to the University schedule.

Bennet said, “Commuter students are highly underrepresented in this governing body.”

Class and Club Treasurer Allie Flood spoke of an incident last week in which she called the Student Transportation Center (STC) around 12:10 a.m. to pick her up from the Franklin Lot and was picked up more than half an hour later.

“Nobody was showing up,” she said. “I called them again and the girl sounded like she was sleeping or something. It just didn’t sound like there was a sense of urgency.”

Flood said the inconsistency she experienced is “inconvenient and kind of unacceptable.”

She added, “It shouldn’t take that long, especially at that hour. I’m standing in the dark and it’s cold, and it’s not cool. And you could argue, ‘Oh, you could wait in the car,’ but if you park far away, it just gives me anxiety. So, that was pretty stressful.”

Senate Chair Stephanie Bennett, who works for the STC, said she will “personally” look into the issue.

“I’ve noticed problems, too, myself. … We do have a lot of people who aren’t doing their job. A lot of people do have issues [with STC], and it’s not OK,” she said.

Bennett added she walks to the Union Lot because the RamTram takes “that long” to get there.

Flood said the combination of stress induced by the October “attack” on a female student and the drop in temperature has led her to stop walking to Union.

“We’re already having trouble keeping people here, so that’s definitely a drawback of living on campus,” she added.

M.I.S.S. and Equestrian Club both came in with funding requests for their respective clubs.

SGA members debated whether they should honor the requests because SILD requires clubs to submit all funding requests at least 20 days prior to the date of the event. Both clubs failed to meet this deadline.

Ultimately, SGA decided to entertain the requests.

M.I.S.S. requested $2,762.64 for its “Art in the Dark” event, an annual showcase of student talent. The event is slated for Friday, Dec. 7 in the Forum, and the money will be used for decorations, merchandise, and catering.

Shaw moved to allocate $0 to M.I.S.S. because the club’s request was being reviewed only 16 business days prior to the event, as opposed to the required 20.

M.I.S.S. Vice President Tanaja Jordan said the club was “locked out” of RamLink and could not access the online request form in time. She said, however, the club has been planning the event with SILD since September.

SGA voted to allocate the full amount provided M.I.S.S.’s eBoard meet with Jordan Peterson, assistant director of SILD.

Backer said despite its “shrinking budget,” SGA members should not be hesitant to give funding for “important events,” even in light of certain policy violations.

“We have cancelled a lot of senate meetings, so this could have pushed it back,” Backer said.

Bennet questioned whether SGA was “picking and choosing” between clubs and said he worried this would set a precedent for the allocations of funds past the deadline.

Equestrian Club had two separate funding requests – one for a trail ride to Bobby’s Ranch, and another for its celebration of National Day of the Horse.

For the trail ride scheduled on Saturday, Dec. 1, the club requested $1,767.50 for tickets, box lunches, and transportation.

Prior to hearing Equestrian Club’s presentation, SATF Treasurer Driana LeBron reminded SGA members this request was being reviewed 12 business days prior to the event, and therefore, there was “just not enough time.”

Though the club presented the request, club President Matthew Banks was hesitant and said, “Do we have to present this – because you’re just going to deny it?”

SGA allocated $0 to Equestrian Club for the trail ride.

Banks said he intends for the club to have two trail rides in the spring to make up for the missed fall opportunity.

The club also requested $2,616 for two kinds of “unique and diverse” promotional items, according to Banks’ written funding request, to celebrate National Day of the Horse on Thursday, Dec. 13.

The bulk of the money – $2,015 – would go to 500 “fun cubes,” and the rest would go to 300 “slap bracelets.”

SGA members expressed concern about the high number and cost of promotional items the club intended to order, as well as the functionality of the fun cubes themselves. Banks explained that with the company he chose, it was cheaper to produce 500 items.

Equestrian Club was denied the full amount, but was allocated the remaining $601 for the manufacturing and shipping of slap bracelets.

During his President’s Report, Carrington said even though the pilot program to install hand dryers and soap dispensers in dorms was denied by administrators, he wanted to continue the effort to bring soap to the dorms.

SGA voted to start a petition to continue with an amended version of the pilot program.

In other news:

Two new clubs – Aspiring Health Professionals and Young Democrats Association – gave their introductions to SGA.

Beverlie gave the U-Rock Award to Senator Olivia Rothwell, who was not present at the meeting.

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