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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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USG is revising financial bylaws

The Undergraduate Student Government is currently in the process of revising the Financial Bylaws to amend the current flight restrictions that clubs and organizations must follow.

The current financial bylaws, which were revised last summer, have no precedent for clubs and organizations flying. This revision would give them the option for transportation to events such as tournaments.

The Senate explained that the financial bylaws “in reference to the allowance for payment of flights hinders the clubs’ ability to reach their full potential in their areas of involvement,” and that the current bylaws “potentially prevent clubs from competing at the highest level possible.”

While the Senate admitted that they “should limit how much of the Student Activity Fee is utilized for flights, not allowing any amount whatsoever has proven to be crippling to several clubs/organizations and their advancements.”

USG President Mark Maloof presented the revision to the Senate at their meeting this past week. The original amendment presented stated that “all reimbursements for flights must be pre-approved by the treasurer.” If a student decided to use personal money for airfare to an approved off-campus trip, USG “will reimburse up to five cents per mile for the mileage of the trip or 80% of the ticket price, whichever is less.” It also stated that “clubs/organizations may only reimburse expenses for flights for up to two trips per Academic Year.”

After the revision was presented, the senate debated about the wording of the amendment and if the Student Activity Fee should be used towards airfare for clubs at all.

“I don’t see why we’re taking money away from other students just because some have a more expensive hobby,” Senator David Adams said. He said that paying airfare for clubs that participate in events that require them to fly limits the clubs who are restricted to on-campus activities and hosting on-campus events.

According to Adams, SBU was just removed from the 10 least happiest schools in the country, a list created by the Princeton Review, and therefore the Senate should focus on helping make campus atmosphere more enjoyable instead of giving clubs money to travel.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Adil Hussain said he thinks helping clubs and organizations pay for airfare is a good thing because it will spread Stony Brook pride throughout the country.

“I think we should support Stony Brook students who are willing to show that to other schools that that’s our team,” Hussain said. “You go to a game and you represent, not Stony Brook, you represent Seawolves, us. We are Stony Brook students. We are a part of those teams. We are supporting the students. We don’t see the shield, we see the Seawolves logo.”

The senate was unable to come to a resolution about the revision because the meeting was forced to end before they could resolve the issue. According to Executive Vice President Deborah Machalow, this revision will definitely be on the agenda for next week’s meeting and hopefully the senate will be able to reach a decision then.

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