Senate Notes: SEOC Approves Clubs

Gin Dumcius

The Student Senate’s Student Events and Organizations Committee last week approved and declined dozens of clubs.

Many were approved pending a constitution or the appointment of a treasurer, while some were declined because not enough people signed up for the club, or its mission overlapped with another club.

All clubs will have gone before the Student Senate for approval this week. Student Senator and Chair of SEOC Bryan Smith has pledged to work with the clubs not approved in committee. He expects “all will eventually be approved.”

Changes in the ways monies have normally been handled are also expected. Due to the fiscal crisis plaguing the school and higher education in general, said Smith, approved clubs will not be getting the same amount as last year. Instead, the amount each club gets will be determined according to number of new students who join. In previous years, each approved club was given $300. Now it looks like they will be getting an estimated $200 to $250. Clubs will be encouraged to come back to the senate and ask for more.

All money is taken from the Student Activities Trust Fund, which stays afloat from the influx of student fees each semester.

CCA Meets With MassPIRG

The Campus and Community Affairs Committee met briefly last week with MassPIRG to invite MassPIRG and Waterwatch to the next senate meeting, said CCA Chair Will Roach.

The meeting promises to be a showdown between MassPIRG and some members of the Student Senate, like Senate President Tuan Pham. MassPIRG and Pham have been locked in a bitter verbal battle over a bill in the House of Representatives. The bill, known as H. 2400, switches waivable fees, like MassPIRG’s, from opt-out to opt-in. The switch could have disastrous consequences funding-wise for MassPIRG.

Pham and supporters of the bill are preparing to pass a resolution in the Student Senate, which would get forwarded to the House, in support of H. 2400. The resolution was pulled from the agenda at the first Senate meeting of year on September 10, when it became unclear whether Pham had the votes to pass it.

MassPIRG is arguing that the State Legislature is taking away the students’ rights to choose for themselves how they can pay fees.

Pham and other supporters contend the issue is one of fairness, since many students forget to opt-out of the MassPIRG six-dollar fee on their tuition bill.

CCA also discussed taking students who aren’t normally involved in Student Life on Wheatley Hall’s fourth floor to F-1 Boston. At F-1 Boston people can ride karts and play pool. The point of the initiative is to get students more involved with centers, clubs, and the Senate, said Roach.

Cost estimates to rent space at F-1 for thirty people is at $3800; fifty people would cost $4300.