The first major item of business on the Student Senate agenda last Thursday was the presentation of the student club budgets for the 2009 to 2010 school year by Finance Committee Chair Heather Kopec. Overall, 64 different student organizations requested, in total, $103,885.97 for the coming academic year.
“The committee met for almost nine hours. We literally hand-reviewed every application. Every club got looked at. Every club had things taken off. Lunches, dinners and barbecues were cut down to a standard amount. Committee will deal with appeals next week,” said Kopec.
There was brief discussion on some specifics of budget allotments, with one senator asking what was the maximum that clubs could be allocated. Five clubs (ABLE, Common Ground, International Club, Lo Nuestro and Terpsichore) received that amount for next year. Overall, the budgets passed without much difficulty. The Finance Committee would review any budget appeals before the next Senate meeting.
Sophomore D’Angelo Smith, junior Percy Bromby and junior Maurice McDavid of Gentlemen of Quality (GQ) came before the chamber seeking Senate approval of their organization. Smith spoke first as the president of GQ.
“Gentlemen of Quality has 11 members in the colony,” Smith said. “We formed this group on November 5, 2007, starting with 13 gentlemen. We asked ourselves ‘what do we want to be?’”
GQ presented a slide show and focused on three aspects of their organization: academic excellence with a target GPA of 3.3 and a current average GPA of 2.8, community service participation with a minimum of ten hours per term required, and cultural awareness.
“One of our goals is cultural awareness,” McDavid said. “We have already started becoming a multi-cultural fraternity. There were misconceptions that we wanted to become a ‘black fraternity.’ We started as multi-cultural and that’s what we strive for.”
After the presentation, senators asked questions of the representatives from GQ, some similar to questions that had been asked of ATP when it came to seek Senate approval earlier this year. Senator Carson asked why the group wanted to become part of a national affiliation.
“National backing makes a difference,” McDavid said. “It allows us to be part of something on a national stage.”
In response to another question on what national organization the group was considering, Bromby said, “We would not select a national that would make us change our ideals. We would select somebody that fits us rather than trying to fit into someone else.”
In the end, GQ received much support from both senators and concerned students in the chamber. Upon reaching a vote, the colony was approved by the chamber in a vote with only two ‘nays’ and five abstentions.
Finally, members of the staff for The Knox Student presented a Green Fee proposal to purchase wire racks for the distribution of TKS. After brief discussion, the request passed.