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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    USG Senate Condemns Rugby Team Suspension

    Dear Editor,

    The Senate passed a great deal of legislation during its most recent meeting, but I would like to focus this letter on the ‘Rugby Resolution’ which was responsible for bringing an unprecedented number of supporters to the Senate gallery.

    The reader might be aware that a party on St. Patrick’s Day was raided by Suffolk County Police Department officers, in which several members of the rugby team were implicated in serving alcohol to those less than 21 years of age. The action was reported in the local press, including ‘Newsday,’ and prompted the University Administration to suspend the Rugby Team. Efforts at appealing the suspension were denied, despite the Rugby Team leadership’s full cooperation with the investigation, as well as the Rugby Team’s claims that the party was not organized or planned by the organization but rather by a few members within its ranks, without the authorization of the general membership.

    In response to the indefinite suspension, the Senate passed a resolution with almost unanimous support, expressing solidarity and support for the Rugby Team and urging the Administration to end the team’s suspension. The resolution stressed the great importance of the Rugby Club on campus, not just for its members but also for the whole campus community, and emphasized the numerous acts of community service and fundraising that the Rugby Team has contributed in recent years. While it did express support for the team, it also condemned the actions of those involved in providing alcohol to underage persons.

    Furthermore, the resolution noted that it was unfair to hold the entire team collectively responsible for the unauthorized actions of a few of its members and urged the appropriate administrative bodies to move quickly to end the suspension. In addition, the Senate noted that the Rugby Club’s funding comes not from the Administration but rather from the Undergraduate Student Government through the Student Activity Fee, and Senators were quite outraged that the University would suspend the operations of a Student-Activity Fee funded club without any consultation.

    The passage of the resolution is an excellent step forward in the path to resolving the Rugby Team’s suspension as it shows the support of the Student Government and the student body for the great work that the Rugby Team has done in the past and continues to do, both for its members and for the greater community. Discussions between the USG and the University’s Administration are now scheduled to commence, and it is my fervent hope that the Administration will take heed of the USG Resolution and move quickly to do the right thing and end the Rugby Team’s suspension. This story is of great import to many students, and as such I will follow it closely and report regularly on its progress.

    Sincerely yours, Esam Al-Shareffi

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