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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: In the Last Few Weeks…

Dear Editor,

In the past few weeks, there have been serious accusations made about my ethical conduct and about my competency in the position of Director of the Student Programming Agency (SPA) in general. I am of the opinion that the bulk of these allegations are a result of willful ignorance and corrupt personal interests.

However, as the campaign surrounding these accusations has been made, my only option is to address each claim, provide my reasoning and then surrender myself to your sense of fairness.

I would like to begin by acknowledging a general lack of events programmed by the SPA this semester, which is the direct cause of various factors. Primarily, the SPA is a new agency, without any formal channels of communication to any entity, within the university or outside of it.  In the past few months, I have established or improved relationships between the USG and Athletics, FSA and the Staller Center.

By connecting to each of these entities, I have created opportunities that previously did not exist, such as USG working with Athletics on events and promotion, the FSA on retail opportunities, and Staller on scheduling events. None of this existed before me, and presumably, none of this would have been established if the previous model of SAB continued to exist. While the work I have put into establishing these relationships is not automatically obvious, it will be next semester when we have events in Staller—something never done before—as well as free concerts that would not have been possible previously.

It is difficult to program large events on a time crunch. Typically, a concert takes at least 8 to 10 weeks of planning. I began in September, and thus it reasonably took until mid-November to execute USG’s first concert, which happened to be quite successful. In the time from September to November, we programmed several smaller events, including a performance by Christian Finnegan, the MaMa Art Show, RockYoFaceCase and Humans vs. Zombies. Further, I personally do not think frequently planning small events is the answer to the problem.

There are many small events every single day at Stony Brook, planned by a student club or university department. While it is fun to have these kinds of events, small events should not be the goal of USG. Rather, USG is the sole group on campus that has the ability to plan large events, and USG ought to primarily plan large events.

To compare to the old SAB, how many SAB events were reported on by the student newspapers? And to the readers, how many of you miss the SAB Dollar Parties? How many of you can honestly say you attended an SAB event in the past few years?

The USG has not planned events according to its potential, but, in comparison, the SAB of old planned no events according to its potential. And I suspect none made it into the student newspapers. Our consistent listing as one of the unhappiest campuses is proof, to some degree, of the failure of the old SAB.

The other major accusation that has been made is that, somehow, I have too much control over the money or decision making within USG. The problem is, when you are one of the very few students doing anything within the USG, you happen to be more susceptible to criticism. For example, most USG presidents did not do a single thing in office, as such, there is very little to criticize.

Currently, there are about 30 students working together to plan events for next semester. When I began there was one: myself. I have slowly built up an agency from scratch, planned more successful events than the old establishment and have gotten a large number of students involved with the process. Next semester is going to be amazing, and it legitimately required a semester of planning, something that this fall we simply did not have.

Sincerely,

Moiz Khan
USG Director ofEvent Programming

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  • A

    AnonymousDec 21, 2010 at 11:51 am

    ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WHERE YOUR STUDENT ACTIVITY FEE MONEY IS GOING:

    SAB Meeting Nov.8

    Attendees: Aimee Pomeroy, Anay Thodge, David Mazza, Moiz Khan

    Moiz Khan: Announcements
    __________________

    NOTE: Moiz Khan is the director of the programming agency for USG. With roughly $400,000 in the programming budget, Moiz thinks that it is USG’s responsibility to create programs for the entire campus community.
    __________________

    John VanWagner, Manager of Marketing and Corporate Sales for Athletics

    The Women’s Basketball team is playing their opening game against Hofstra at Stony Brook.

    The game is on November 18th and the theme is Latin Night. The idea is for USG to print shirts with “I’m a Seawolf” in spanish.

    Moiz Khan: What’s a Seawolf T-Shirts

    300 students are estimated to attend Women’s Basketball games on average. This is a branding opportunity for USG that will only cost $4 per student.

    David motioned to allocate $1200 to Classique Creations for What’s a Seawolf T-Shirts in Spanish. Anay seconded.

    The motion passed without objection.

    https://meetingmix.com/meeting/gf21mlna2039/2010-11-08

    But isn’t USG’s Mission to:

    TO OPERATE THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT AND MANAGE VARIOUS SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES FOR UNDERGRADUATE CLUBS AND PROGRAMS AT THE STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY.

    So, USG can use your undergraduate student activity funds to hand out 300 free T-shirts to any student at an event that has nothing to do with USG, even if the students who receive a free T-shirt don’t pay the activity fee.

    The influence of the Stony Brook administration to get USG to mishandle the student activity fee is
    unconscionable.

    PS. Get your checkbook ready, USG may just get that additional $5.75 increase in the student activity fee.

    On top of this, your activity fee is paying a weekly stipend to these students who are spending your money irresponsibly.

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousDec 10, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I would also like to remind USG that the use of $60,216.57 of USG funds for the Commuter Commons renovation does not fall within the boundries of their own Financial By-Laws.

    According to the USG Financial Bylaws:

    Appropriations are monies made available by law to funded organizations and to pay for administrative costs of the Undergraduate Student Government, which are divided into the following categories:

    (1) Salaries and Wages – for full-time employees (e.g. Administrative Director, Office Administrator, and Ticket Office Manager), and also includes wages for student staff.
    (2) Professional Fees e.g. Audit, Legal
    (3) Operating expenses of the Undergraduate Student Government and the Departments thereof, which may differ or be distinct from funded organization expenditures and subject to different restrictions.

    (A) Expenditures made by the executive branch, or its agencies, shall be subject to the approval of the President.

    (B) Expenditures made by the legislative branch shall be subject to the approval of the Senate, or an officer of the same, as the Senate shall by its rules direct.

    (C) Expenditures made by the Judicial branch shall be subject to the approval of the Chief Justice.

    (4) Funded Organization Expenses
    (A) Equipment and Furniture – computers, printers, copiers, desks,lockers, etc.
    (B) Supplies – office supplies, such as pens, stationary, toner, paper, etc
    (C) Food and Beverages
    (D) Clothing
    (E) Travel
    (F) Telephone
    (G) Advertising and printing – flyers, banners, posters, invitations, etc.

    (H) Audio-Visual – charges related to audio/visual support for microphones, lighting, and sound equipment.

    (I) Ticket Office Fees – fees related to the use of the Ticket Office to sell tickets

    (J) Security – charges for security provided by Events Management or the Student Bureau of Investigation (student security at all student sponsored events and/or outside professional security contractors, such as CSS)

    (K) Entertainment – the cost of DJs, bands, guest speakers, lecturers, etc.

    (L) Dues and Fees – fees related to dues, fees, and subscriptions.
    —————–

    This proposed renovation does not fall into any of the three catagories listed, those being: salaries and wages, professional fees and operational expenses. Paying $60,216.57 for the renovating of the two SAC Commuter Commons is NOT an OPERATIONAL EXPENSE for USG.
    —————–

    RESTRICTIONS ON EXPENDITURES:

    Expenditures for events or activities that significantly deviate from a funded organization or department’s missions and goals shall not be permitted.

    http://usg.sunysb.net/files/2009/10/2007-2008-Financial-Bylaws-of-the-Undergraduate-Student-Government.pdf

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousDec 10, 2010 at 5:50 am

    CORRECTION: the amount USG is looking to allocate for the Commuter Commons Renovation is an estimated cost of $60,216.57 not $62,216.57.

    http://sbusg.org/files/2010/09/Apropriation-Act-2.pdf

    Note: Just a select few of the Administration and USG Services & Operations budgets would be affected by the
    2010 – 2011 USG OPERATIONAL BUDGET ADJUSTMENT ACT. Those adjustments still add up to a total budget reduction of $83,000.00.

    http://sbusg.org/files/2010/09/2010-–-2011-USG-Operational-Budget-Adjustment-Act.pdf

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousDec 9, 2010 at 11:35 am

    LET EACH BECOME AWARE!

    As the USG Treasurer from Dec. 2009 – May 2010 and being responsible for preparing and managing a 3.1 million dollar budget, were the Service and Administration budgets PURPOSELY OVER INFLATED so USG would have the money in 2010-2011 to pay for the renovations to the two Commuter Common spaces in the SAC?

    http://sbusg.org/files/2010/09/2010-–-2011-USG-Operational-Budget-Adjustment-Act.pdf

    It is very interesting to see that USG wants to make, or already has made a revision to the USG Budget for 2010-2011 giving USG an extra $83,000.00. It was already stated (Press release 9/13/10) that $20,000.00 would be reallocated to promote weekend life and that money came from the discontinued ALIRRT program. This leaves an extra $63,000.00. That amount would COINCIDENTLY cover the expense of $62,216.57, the amount presented to USG LAST SPRING to get the SAC Commuter Commons renovations done.

    http://sbusg.org/files/2010/09/Apropriation-Act-2.pdf

    The Stony Brook University website defines Fraud as:

    Fraud: Obtaining money or some other personal benefit by deliberate deception to the detriment of another party or organization.

    Theft, misappropriation or unauthorized use of funds, supplies, property or other resources

    http://www.stonybrook.edu/audit/reportfraud.shtml

    Did USG deliberately misappropriate the activity fee to the Administration and USG Services & Operations budgets and later reduce those budgets to accommodate the cost of renovating the commuter commons? If the answer is no, someone is lying. If the answer is yes, then this is DELIBERATE DECEPTION AND FRAUD.

    The Editorial (Raise in Student Activity Fee; Where is your money really going?) recently printed in the Statesman says there was an amount of nearly $300,000.00 left over, as unused funding from last year. Where did that money go? Why was that not reflected on the 2010-2011 budget?

    USG has based the 2010-2011 budget on 15,300 students in the fall and 14,500 students in the spring. The University is claiming there are 16,342 undergrads enrolled for the fall 2010 semester. Understandably, not all students are full-time and you can’t spend what you don’t collect. But, there has to be some student activity fees at the end of the academic year that were never figured into the fiscal years budgets. USG needs to explain when that money gets accounted for and where it goes.

    Raising the student activity fee by another $5.75 is irresponsible when the organization is clearly NOT fiscally responsible.

    As Director of the Student Programming Agency, you say that you plan to have “free concerts that would not have been possible previously.” If you can give FREE concerts to all students and the community alike, then you are clearly misappropriating USG funds!

    Isn’t USG’s Mission to:

    TO OPERATE THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT AND MANAGE VARIOUS SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES FOR UNDERGRADUATE CLUBS AND PROGRAMS AT THE STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY.

    Do those services now include building renovations?

    USG has expanded beyond the scope of UNDERGRADUATES when it states its mission is:

    To foster a spirit of community, diversity and fellowship, to create programs and services for the benefit of all members of the campus community.

    The undergraduate students and their parents are not the ATM for the University Administration and the entire campus community. USG should not be responsible for paying for any building renovations or for supplying free entertainment for “ALL MEMBERS OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY.”

    The perceived notion that USG was deliberately hiding money and will be giving away (free concerts) UNDERGRADUATE student funds will not sit well with the student body and USG needs to have better oversight.

    It is not just your ethical conduct and competency that comes into question; it is the entire USG organization and those who are there to advise them.

    USG needs be more transparent and accountable, not secretive and deceptive.

    By the way,criticism has been cast at the previous USG Presidents; they just chose to ignore it.

    This is now on Matthew Graham’s watch and he needs to step up and repair USG’s reputation by ensuring that USG does not continue to have another academic year of dysfunction and disappointment.

    The integrity of the Student Activity fee program is being manipulated and this needs to stop!

    Reply