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Campus Briefing: USG senate recognizes five new clubs

E-board members from the Mentors in Medicine club, above, petitioned to the USG for recognition as a club. MANJU SHIVACHARAN/THE STATESMAN
Members of the Mentors in Medicine club, above, petitioned to the USG on Thursday to be officially recognized as a club. The senate passed the motion after some debate on the club’s mission overlapping with other clubs on campus. MANJU SHIVACHARAN/THE STATESMAN

The Undergraduate Student Government senate approved requests from five clubs Thursday evening to be officially recognized by USG, which puts the clubs on the path to receiving Special Services Council budgets to further grow their club.

The senate approved a request from WhatCON, a club dedicated to starting a science fiction convention on campus, to officially be recognized by USG. With its newfound club status, WhatCON plans to recapture Stony Brook students’ science fiction culture after a previous science fiction convention, I-CON, left campus.

The USG senate also passed the Mentors in Medicine club’s request to be recognized by USG, but not without debate.

The Mentors in Medicine club’s mission “does overlap with other clubs but with a focus more on peer-to-peer level mentoring that set them apart from other clubs, which is why their case made it to the senate,” Sen. Alexander Bouraad said.

“Our reach goes beyond premed students,” Mentors in Medicine Club President Yasmeen Hamami said. “Students interested in nursing often come to the club seeking help and advisement on future academic endeavors in the medical field.”

“Since they are not asking for money, any differentiation should be recognized and supported,” Sen. Michael Libretto said.

Stony Brook iGEM was another club that sought to be recognized by USG Thursday night. Due to scheduling conflicts, club members were not in attendance to lobby for their club. However, the senate still passed their request, and USG will now recognize their cub.

Stony Brook iGEM is the university’s first and only synthetic biology club.

Circle K International also sought recognition from USG.  Sen. Jan Jaminal spoke about Circle K International’s potential power in “providing community service opportunities for Stony Brook students.”

Circle K International is a collegiate service organization that promotes service, leadership and fellowship with over 13,000 members around the world.

The Stony Brook chapter of Circle K International is a part of the New York District, and Circle K International has divisions around the world, Circle K International President Amanda Tam explained.

Circle K International offers students “a club that is able to be there for them as they develop,” Tam said.

The USG senate passed the Society of Women Engineers request for USG recognition. The club aims to educate women by demonstrating to members’ examples of other women who are successful in the engineering field. Training seminars will address maternity leave, work clothing choices and sexual harassment.

When a club gets USG recognition, it is able to apply for a budget proposal after two semesters.

The senate also passed the Overdrawn Clubs Correction Appropriations Act. The act corrects a fiscal mistake in which money was taken back from four USG clubs that were have thought to overspent. These clubs will be reimbursed.

USG Treasurer Taylor Bouraad proposed the spring budget timeline.

Important dates to note are Dec. 2, when the USG application will become available to student clubs, and Feb. 28, which is the deadline for clubs budget proposals. Budget hearings will occur on March 4, 5 and 6.

Bouraad also noted in the complete grant report that $69,570 was left in the USG grant fund.

USG fall and spring budget funding is on track with a balanced 50/50 split between both semesters.

Correction: Nov. 2, 2015

A previous version of this story erroneously reported that the USG budget application will become available to student clubs on Nov. 2, that the deadline for clubs budget proposals will be Nov. 28 and that budget hearings will occur on March 3 and 4.

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