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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 briefing: club receives USG budget, minus dance pole

The Undergraduate Student Government Senate approved a $390 provisional budget for the hair and beauty club, Hairitage, at this Thursday’s senate meeting, funding two social events and headscarf-making program, but cutting $410 that would have gone towards a pole-dancing fitness class.

The debate to approve the budget centered on the $410 pole-dancing event, which, despite its expense, would only have been able accommodate 20 students, presumably all women.

Hairitage’s public relations officer, Lyncia Bertil, was grilled with questions about the event’s cost, capacity and relevance to the club’s mission, which was amended this semester to include the phrase, “We also encourage a healthy lifestyle to promote healthy hair.”

“To spend that much money on one event does not seem fiscally responsible to me,” Senator Joy Pawirosetiko said.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Steven Adelson suggested the club collaborate with the Department of Campus Recreation to hold a pole-dancing event instead of seeking funding from USG, adding that the Philippine United Student Organization has successfully worked with the department to sponsor a dance class.

Though he conceded the equipment cost would make it more difficult for Campus Recreation to sponsor a pole dancing class, Adelson added that he would be happy to help Hairitage work with the department.

Senator Gibryon Bhojraj agreed. “I think this is something that could better be approached another way,” he said.

The senate ultimately struck the $410 allocation from the budget request with 13 votes in the affirmative, three votes against and two abstentions. The revised budget passed with little debate by 14 yes votes and four abstentions.

Hairitage’s budget request originally came before the senate at last week’s meeting, but was tabled after senators requested a member of the club appear before the senate to answer questions.

“I’m kind of surprised because it’s in our mission statement,” Bertil said in response to the decision cut the dance pole rental.

“It’s unfortunate, we really wanted to bring a fun and exciting fitness event to campus,” Ciara Ward, president of Hairitage, said in an email. “It’s even more unfortunate that we can’t use that money to fund another event in place of the pole dance fitness class.”

Two other clubs, Dumbledore’s Army and the Investment Club, each received approval for inclusion in USG’s annual budget. The Bhangra dance team and Solar Boat Club were both given approval to begin a probationary period, allowing the groups to request provisional budgets next year.

In addition to funding decisions, the senate also repealed the Eligibility of Class Representatives Act, which was passed last year to prohibit students from running to represent any class but their own in the USG.

Senator Vincent Justiniano, who proposed the repeal, said the law’s credit-based definition of class standing prevented students who have a lower class standing in the spring from running for the appropriate class representative position in the fall.

“It wouldn’t be fair to students wanting to run for their class,” he said.

The law did not prevent any otherwise eligible students from running for class representative positions last year, but could have in future elections.

Justiniano said he plans to propose a new law with better wording to replace the repealed legislation before the end of the fall semester. He invited anyone with suggestions for the new law to email him at

September 22, 2013 – This article was updated to include a quote from Ciara Ward.

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