SGA tables Art Club funding request

SGA heard two funding requests at their Nov. 19 meeting.

Vice President of Latinos Unidos ‘N Acción (LUNA) Sebastian Merida requested funding for club T-shirts. He said the shirts were not event-specific, but they would be given out at LUNA’s Bachata Night. 

Merida said the reason for acquiring the shirts was so LUNA would become more well-known. He said they were looking forward to new members and, “having shirts is a good way to promote us and get us out there.”

LUNA received $550 for their T-shirts.

The next funding request came from the Art Club. 

SATF Treasurer Driana LeBron explained they were requesting funds for their Armory Show NYC trip, which they have sponsored in the past. 

She said they were “really passionate” about the trip.

Art Club President Nicholas Carlson said for the Armory Show trip, they wanted to have 48 students and two travel staff. He said the plan was to stay at a Hilton Inn for two nights. 

He said students in the past said they felt “rushed doing the trip in one night,” so two nights would give them the “full New York experience.”

Carlson said the tickets were approximately $50 per student, but the price was not official just yet. He said the Art Club did have a second option, which was 24 students and two travel staff. However, this was not the ideal option.

Reducing the number of attendees would drop costs from a grand total of $15,671 to $8,768. He also added the club has a contract with a bus company which makes the total transportation cost $4,561 regardless of how many students attend the trip. 

Student Trustee Olivia Beverlie asked if Carlson could get a “breakdown” of how much the total cost would be for one night with 24 students so they would have more options. Carlson said they’d be willing to present more options, but pushed for the 48 students for two nights because, the Armory Show “is a really big deal and the more [students], the merrier.”

President Matty Bennett said the total cost for student tickets would go up if only 24 students were attending the trip. 

Shaw added that this would raise the student ticket cost to $88 per ticket.

Carlson stated that the Art Club has $1,417 in their account currently and they have a fundraising event going on Dec. 9 with a goal to raise $391.

Carlson stated that the cost for 25 students for one night comes to $6700. 

He added the two travel staff were not yet confirmed but would likely be professors Ellie Krakow and Yumi Park.

Shaw said by limiting the trip to just 24 students, “the fee per student clearly goes up a lot when we do this, so I just don’t think this is the best way to benefit” a smaller number of people.

Beverlie said she was uncomfortable with funding the trip right now because even though Carlson was able to present more options, the issue was not “time sensitive,” so she presented the idea of tabling the issue until the next meeting. 

Vice President Abigail Salvucci said SGA would “not be making any decisions on money tonight” and would table the request until there were more options available.

Carlson said the request was time sensitive because the hotels could sell out and buying the tickets in advance could keep the price down. He said it was “a little bit less than $200 a night for doubles” as of right now.

The request was ultimately tabled.

In other business, Beverlie appointed McKenzie Ward as Open Education Resource (OER) Ambassador. She said Ward is “very passionate about it, and I’m looking forward to working with [her].” 

During Salvucci’s vice president’s report, she said two new clubs are organizing – Hospitality and Tourism Club and Green Initiative Club.

During Secretary Lexi Kays’ report, she said she got an email from Emily Barry, a senior health and wellness student, requesting more water bottle filling stations on campus, such as the ones in McCarthy and Dwight that were previously funded by SGA.

LeBron announced the current unallocated budget, after LUNA’s funding request, was $92,316.22.

During open forum, Ward expressed frustration with the RamTram’s service. She said, “Last night, it took me 40 minutes to get back from Union.”

Ward added that one tram passed her heading to the commuter rail, but said none were going to the parking lots when “supposedly, they’re on 15-minute schedules.” STC staff will attend the Senate meeting Dec. 10. 

Senator Krista Jameson gave the “U-Rock” award to Senator Samuel Houle. The physical rock was finally found.

[Editor’s note: McKenzie Ward is a member of The Gatepost.]