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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Campus News Briefing: Future of voting rights,suny, SUNY’s new idea for president of campuses and freshman rep runoff election

    A potential conflict of interest might take away the voting rights of class representatives in the Student Activities Board this week.

    The Supreme Court of the Undergraduate Student Government held a hearing last Tuesday for a lawsuit challenging the class representatives’ voting privileges in the SAB – the verdict will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 15.

    Two potential conflicts of interest were discussed in the hearing. If class representatives vote for an event that they are planning, they could be voting to get more funding for their own events. Also, event planners often formulate complimentary ticket lists for ticketed events and, by having voting privileges, class representatives would be choosing who gets free tickets for their own events.

    Thomas Kirnbauer, USG’s own treasurer and author of the lawsuit, wants to end that privilege, which had never been given before.

    “This is something that was new this year. Last year, the class representatives had no voting privileges in the Student Activities Board. They were event planners,” Kirnbauer said. “So if you have planners voting on events that they’re planning, it’s a clear bias in that respect.”

    The USG constitution describes class representatives as “non-voting members of the Senate.” But a different clause within the constitution says that they are “class representative senators” and “shall serve as voting members” of the SAB.

    USG President Mark Maloof, who was representing the SAB in the hearing, thinks the complaint is “almost nitpicking,” but he acknowledged the ambiguity and said that the important thing is that class representatives are not voting in the legislative branch.

    “There may have been a miscommunication regarding the word senator among the writers of the constitution. But there was never the distinction that they would be voting senators in the legislative branch,” he said. “Their ability to vote in the SAB is their ability to cast their vote within the executive body. That is a right that they inherently have.”

    Maloof defended the constitution and said the voting privileges are not stated there to trick future officers, but to better represent students’ interests.

    “I just don’t know that that’s necessarily there to throw everyone for a loop, so that years later they can say ‘aha, got you,’” he said. “The intent of this piece [of the constitution] was to allow each class to voice their opinion.”


    SUNY’s New Idea: One President for Multiple Campuses

    Budget Cuts have driven the State University of New York to adopt a Shared Services initiative, but what many people don’t know is that the program includes sharing campus presidents.

    During its Fall Conference two weeks ago, the SUNY Student Assembly approved a resolution requesting SUNY to stop reducing the number of college presidents through shared governances until students can thoroughly discuss such proposals.

    In July, it was announced that SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam would consolidate campus presidencies. In August, the SUNY Board of Trustees was considering to expand the initiative to SUNY I.T., Delhi, Morrisville and Cobleskill.

    USG Senator David Adams, one of the students representing Stony Brook in the conference, supported the Students Assembly’s resolution and called SUNY’s initiative “a practice that stems from the State’s disastrous divestment from public higher education over the past few years.”

    The resolution states that “there was a minimal amount of student input in this matter, as well as the lack of consultation with the individual colleges councils during the decision making process.” The Assembly also said that the institutions affected “feat that the identities and autonomy of each unique college and university may be threatened by these actions.”


    Freshman Rep Runoff Election Delayed

    Stony Brook freshman students have gone another week without a USG representative.

    The freshman representative runoff election is taking place this week because USG officials “had a problem” setting up the voting on SOLAR on time last week, USG President Mark Maloof said.

    The USG Code requires polling to start at noon on a Monday and end at noon on the following Friday. Maloof said the polling wasn’t ready at noon on Monday, so the USG had to reschedule for this week.

    The runoff candidates, Stanley Ige and Tyrik Jiang, received the highest number of votes among seven candidates who ran in the first part of the election during the first week of November. Ige, a political science major, had 84 votes while Jiang, a history major, had 62. A total of 300 freshmen voted.

    This week’s election ends at noon on Friday, Nov. 18.

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