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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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    Letter To The Editor,The Shapiro Firm, Attorneys at Law

    I thought itwould be useful, as the attorney for the Student Polity Association to writethis open letter for publication in the Statesman by way of an informal reportto the undergraduate student body on current developments concerning theStudent Polity Association.

    As most studentsknow, among its duties and responsibilities, the primary function of theStudent Polity Association has been the custodianship of the student funds andthe disbursal of the same in accordance with Chancellor’s Guidelines andcampus policy for the needs of the students and the student life in general.Despite its long history of proper administration, demonstrating an orderly andappropriate guardianship and expenditure of such funds and of function inaccordance with the above standards, a recent improper program of obstreperousinterference by certain members of the Senate unfortunately resulted in animpasse, an interference with normal, proper functioning of Polity.

    Such interferencewith the normal functioning of the Student Polity, ultimately led, aspredictably expected, to the decertification of the Student Polity Assocationby President Kenny and the creation of a study group tasked with proposing anew model for the student government.

    The task group(consisting of faculty and students) has been selected by Dr. Federick Preston,chaired by Prof. Norman Goodman is to research and propose a new and improvedstructure for the student government at Stony Brook. It is expected that whenthe study group has competed its mission, the resultant proposals will be putto a general student referendum. The most significant task to be accomplishedis the creation of a suitable Constitution, which will serve to clarify mattersof principle definitively and in such a way that is referable as a proceduralguide but not so specific that ‘?loopholes’ can be engineered.Among the matters needed is a definitive statement of the respective roles andresponsibilities as well as the perimeters of authority of each branch and itsconstituents.

    In the interim,the responsibly relating to the custodianship of student funds by the nowdecertified Student Polity Association, including the need to assure fiscalaccountability and integrity, as well as the continuation of student life hadcreated the need for the interim placement of all student fees under campusreceivership with the campus Faculty Student Association. The FSA hastraditionally acted as fiscal agent for the disbursement of graduate studentfees and has been selected and agreed, as I am advised, to establish a similarescrow account for the receipt and safekeeping, as well as the disbursal ofsuch undergraduate student fees, as the direction of the Student PolityAssociation. This arrangement is thought to be in the best interest of theundergraduate student body during the interim period and until the study grouphas re-established the proper Constitution procedure and organization.

    The undersignedhas been designated as a consulate to the new task group, particularly withreference to the creation of a more useful Constitution and as to questions ofgovernance.

    As most studentsknow, The Shapiro Firm has conducted a legal clinic (Wednesdays, 4:00PM -7:30PM) when school is in session, in addition to representing the studentgovernment by rendering services in its behalf from its offices in Manhattan.We invite all students with questions, ideas or suggestions to contact theundersigned. The success of the present task as well as that of thereorganized student government depends on undergraduate student participation.This means the free exchange of ideas and the full exercise of the votingfranchise as appropriate in any respective democracy, student or otherwise.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Leonard N. Shapiro

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