Two clubs up for approval by SGA

Aubrey Zych, Staff Writer

Following the winter break, the Student Government Association (SGA) met on Wednesday, Jan. 25 to address several ideas that had been discussed in the fall semester, as well as to discuss other clubs on campus and to consider the problem of rising textbook prices.

Last semester, the group split into three distinct committees: a smoke-free campus committee, a central mail room committee and a committee for general maintenance. Each committee dedicated itself to creating a solid plan regarding the issues, which included hearing the opinion of other students, researching the experiences of other college campuses with similar issues and calculating reasonable costs that could fit into the group’s budget.

Led by SGA comptroller Sebastian Notaro, members also reviewed the constitutions of two new groups that have expressed their desire to become recognized on campus. In order for a club to become official, it must present a constitution outlining its intentions for approval. Only approved and recognized clubs are able to propose budgets and receive school funding.

The first club, 220 Student Ministries, began meeting last January as a non-denominational Christian Bible study. It began as an open venue for students to learn from the scriptures together through reading, discussion and prayer.

However, after close consideration of the group’s constitution, the SGA members voted to table their constitution in order to give the group an opportunity to rewrite certain sections and resubmit it.

The constitution stated that members must abstain from drugs, alcohol, sexual activity and any other behavior that would compromise their relationship with God.

It also required its members to believe in Christian ideals, therefore excluding certain demographics of students.

Most SGA members agreed that, while the club’s intentions were good, certain sections of its constitution were too “invasive and discriminatory.”

The SGA decided that the club should revise their constitution to be more welcoming and tolerant of other students, regardless of their personal choices.

The SGA also reviewed the constitution of “Le Moyne Loves Life,” a club that advocates against abortion, the death penalty and physician-assisted suicide. Being a politically-based group, the constitution drew up many questions and debates amongst group members.

Notaro, having spoken with the group’s members, stated that their intentions were not to be a political group, which is why they chose the name “Le Moyne Loves Life” as opposed to “Pro-Life Club.”

However, other members disagreed. Freshman representative Krystal Ashey stated, “Personally, I’m pro-choice, but that doesn’t mean I hate life. The name suggests if you aren’t pro-life, you support death.”

Sophomore representative Emily Ianno disagreed, stating, “I don’t think there’s any problem with the name. But, this club could invite students to create a pro-choice club. If we approve one, we’ll have to approve the other.”

SGA president Dennis Carringi also noted that the funding for these clubs comes from students’ tuition.

“Some students might be opposed to having their money go towards a political group that they don’t agree with,” he explained.

After extensive consideration, members agreed to return Le Moyne Loves Life’s constitution for revisions as well and encouraged them to look at other schools’ pro-life clubs, such as Fordham University’s, which has a less controversial statement.

The SGA also reviewed the proposed budgets of each club for the 2012 spring semester. The Organizational Finance Review Committee (OFRC) and Notaro presented club budgets to the SGA members for approval.

Having reviewed each budget on an individual basis, the SGA unanimously approved the budget proposals.

Finally, the SGA discussed the problem of rising textbook costs over recent years. Some members even believe that certain professors unfairly force students to buy the latest, most expensive edition of the books.

Carringi suggested asking the library to provide copies of textbooks. Many members agreed that, should the library decline this request, SGA should work to create a task-force encouraging students to donate their old textbooks to the library at the end of the semester.

After a productive meeting, members left with an ambitious agenda for the spring semester. With ongoing projects regarding textbooks, the smoke-free campus and the creation of a new central mail room, SGA members encourage students to voice their opinions.

They can be contacted through their website at lemoyne.campusgroups.com/SGA/about. Meetings are also held every Wednesday in Grewen Hall 408 at 9 p.m., and are open to all students.