Category Archives: SGA

SGA Proposes Budget Freeze for Inactive Clubs

by Larry Clark

Campus clubs are in for a significant financial change after SGA voted last week to introduce a schedule that would institute a freezing of club accounts for any clubs that are found to be inactive.

“Clubs often come to me and ask why they only received a certain amount for their budget for the year, and each year I have to explain that we have so many clubs to fund and only so much money we can use to fund them,” said Treasurer Kory Mills.  “This motion will show clubs that we’re doing everything we can to maximize funding to active clubs.”

The approved timeline shows that SGA will have until November 17th to determine whether or not a club is active. If a club is deemed inactive then their account will be frozen.  Inactive clubs then have until from December 18th to get into contact with SGA members or their money will be moved back into the SGA’s contingency account.

“I’m against this because this action won’t recoup a lot of money for other clubs, but it will show clubs that we have the power to take back money and that we’re using it,” said Senator Alex Lee when speaking out against the proposed schedule.

While it was not mentioned in debate, it’s important to note that at the end of each spring semester any remaining funds in clubs base budget account will be transferred back into the SGA contingency account.

It was also mentioned that the budget freezing process seems like a correction to the already in place liaison program that the SGA runs.

There were also a number of announcements made at last week’s SGA meeting including that applications for study abroad scholarships are currently available, as well as the Academic Affairs survival guides are almost ready to be distributed.

SGA Plans Gen Ed Changes

by Larry Clark

General Education was a hot topic at the Student Government meeting last week. Senator Amber Pietrycha spoke to the senate on behalf of the committee overseeing the General Education program in an attempt to reduce the required amount of General Education credits.

Senator Pietrycha said that the new program would reduce the required amounts of credits to 40, as well as removing skill areas and implementing categories of subjects such as quantitative reasoning, natural phenomena, social and behavioral phenomena and arts and humanities.

“With this restructure it gives students much more freedom in choosing classes that meet the Gen-Ed’s needed, but also genuinely interest the students as well,” explained Pietrycha.

The biggest part of this restructuring will be the removal of the foreign language requirement bypass. Currently, students who have taken three years of a foreign language in high school can bypass or override the requirement.  But many of those students who are able to override this requirement don’t actually know or understand those languages.  The new program would require students to take a placement test or take three to six credits of a language at the university.

Senator Pietrycha then ended her presentation by taking questions from the Student Senate. The meeting then continued with committee reports, and then new business.

Tensions arose as senators began debating a motion that would restrict their rights when it came to helping those running for student senate.

Internal Affairs 2014 Zero Three (IA14-03) is a motion from the Internal Affairs Committee and would not allow any current senators to help in the campaigning of anyone running in an SGA election. While this rule was already in place for those sitting on the Public Affairs Committee, other senators and even executive board members are not bound to this requirements. This is something some senators have calling “unfair.”

Senator Lauren Hudeobenko made the motion to pass IA14-03 saying that “no one on SGA should be able to campaign for someone else.  It could create an unfair advantage and overall looks bad. We should follow SA/LD’s example. We chose to be student leaders and we should be held to a higher standard.”

Hudeobenko’s statement to the senate brought strong arguments from those feeling the by-law change was an infringement to their rights.

“I don’t know if anyone remembers this little thing called the United States Constitution and what it says about freedom of speech. The original point was to avoid a conflict of interest and scandal,” said Treasurer Kory Mills.  “When brought to my attention I realized how unfair this was to Public Affairs, but the solution shouldn’t be to ban the entire senate. We have a choice.  I personally choose not to endorse anyone, but that was my choice and what I chose to do should be of no matter to anyone else.”

The motion to approve IA14-03 failed, keeping the restriction on campaigning on others running for senate only to public affairs members.

SGA Preview into the New Semester

By Larry Clark

While the Student Government Association chose not to meet as whole body this week, there was plenty happening on a committee level of the Student Senate.

SGA is made up of four main committees: Finance, Public Affairs, Student Life and Academic Affairs.  All four of these committees work together to complete various tasks ranging from funding clubs to reviewing student fair treatment at CCSU.

The Finance Committee, the deciding body club financial allotment, is now being run under the leadership of Treasurer Kory Mills and Co-Chair Conner Fallanc. They have made a major change to the way the committee will review funding requests.

“Underline wellness, like eight different times, because that’s the theme for this year,” said Sonnett of his goals for SGA this year.

In prior years, the finance committee has set certain deadlines and meetings to review funding requests.  Beginning this semester, they’re taking funding requests on a rolling basis where the requesting paperwork must be in the Friday before an organization wants to present the following weeks meeting. The goal of this new process is to allow for SGA to better serve its club constituency.

“They don’t have to wait to try and reach deadline,” said Mills.  “It’s a little easier to request money from us, they don’t have to wait for a particular date so it makes it easier for everybody.”

The Public Affairs Committee also has many things in store for this semester: advertising this fall’s elections for the currently vacant position of Freshman Senator as well as trying for more student interested in social media involvement and online engagement.

The Academic Affairs committee is focusing on the interests of students and their studies at CCSU. The committee serves as a bridge between students and the office of the Provost. Their main goals they wish to accomplish this semester include tasks such as extending library hours, establishing ways for students to see a sample syllabus before course registration and allowing equal access to student services for everyone.

These committees all serve different purposes within one larger purpose: to serve those that the Student Government represents.  The Student Senate represents all students, commuter and resident the same.  By proxy, one of these committees can help the needs of almost any one undergraduate without taking up regular Student Senate meetings.

“Come to us, please. Students with positive feedback or negative concerns. Anything, even things you want to see change on campus — event ideas and things you think could help benefit your fellow students,” said Simms.  “Fresh ideas are always welcome.  Make sure you get involved, make sure you ask for help and make sure you come to SGA as a resource for help because we can help you. We have the ability to represent you and represent you well; and make such a positive change.”

SGA 4/16

By Joe Suszczynski

  •  In his report, Student Government Association President Brian Choplick vetoed the motion to grant the graduating SGA students stoles with the condition of paying at least $18 that was passed by the senate on April 9, 2014. Choplick cited negative feedback from student body as a reason.
  • A motion was made to approve a line-item change for the Student Veterans Organization. The request was in regards to moving $95.75 from “speakers” to “supplies” for their veterans’ fundraiser. The motion passed unanimously with one abstention.
  • Senator Connor Fallanca motioned to approve the line-item request for the Latin American Student Organization (LASO). LASO requested a total of $1,000 from the “conferences” line-item to the “other” category with the explanation being that they need supplies for their upcoming event called “A Night in Old San Juan,” when they decided to not go to their conference they originally planned to go to. The motion passed 24 to two with five abstentions. The event will take place on April 30.
  • On open floor, Senator Lauren Hudobenko motioned to insert section D to section 5-2 of the SGA by-laws, which has to do with election times. After being amended, Section D would state in a case of a tie a run-off election would be held over a period of at least 24 hours decided by the Public Affairs Committee. The motion passed 20 to three with one abstention.

SGA Bullet Points 4/9

By Joe Suszczynski

  •  Senator Abdallah Alsaqri motioned to allocate no more than $400 to purchase Student Government Association graduation stoles. It was later amended to say that the senators graduating have to pay at least $18. A stole cost $34 and the rationale was that the graduating senators had to pay at least $18 due to it being at least 51% of the cost. The motion passed with 17 “yes” votes, seven “no” votes, and three “abstain” votes.
  •  A motion was made to allocate $6,500, later amended to $6,400 due to typo, to the Student Life Committee from SG9010 for the It’s Not Easy Being Green event. The motion passed with 25 “yes” votes and two “abstain” votes.
  •  A motion was made and passed with 24 “yes” votes and two “abstain votes to allocate $400 from SG9195 for coffee talks on the smoke free campus.
  •  A motion was made to allocate $2886 to the Center Stage revenue account. It passed with 27 “yes” votes, six “no” votes, and one “abstain” votes.
SGA Treasurer Kory Mills

SGA Bullet Points 4/2

SGA Treasurer Kory Mills

SGA Treasurer Kory Mills

By Joe Suszczynski

  •  President Brian Choplick passed the chair to Treasurer Kory Mills in order to speak on a motion to change Section 1-5 of the Student Government Association by-laws regarding “Safe-Zone Training.” The motion passed with 24 “yes” votes and four “abstain” votes. The by-laws now read that every senator and officer will have to attend “Safe-Zone Training” or some type of equivalent service deemed by the Vice-President, or vote of the majority of Senate. And failing to comply with that will result in a loss of stipend.
  •  Another motion regarding semantics in the SGA by-laws was made. The proposal was to say that two-thirds of the Senate must be present at the time voting for committee chairs and co-chairs takes place. The motion passed with 26 “yes” votes and one “abstain” vote.
  •  On open floor, a motion was made to approve the line-item change for the Geology and Planetary Science club. $190 would be moved from their museum trip to pay for a field trip. The motion was passed with 25 “yes votes to three “no” votes and one “abstain” votes.
  •  A motion was made to allocate the Student Life committee $400 in support for an event called the Day of Silence. It passed with 26 “yes” votes and two “abstain” votes.


SGA Bullet Points 3/12

By Acadia Otlowski

  • Otis Mamed, from the office of Student Affairs,  told the student government that the food service contract with Sodexo is up at the end of June 2015. Mamed said that over the next year the university wants to go over different proposals for food service. The university desires student feedback onthe issue and asked the SGA to appoint two senators to serve on the committee that will be making the decision. These students will have the right to vote on the committee, along with two students from IRC. Mamed said that the committee would only meet while school is in session.
  • Scott Hazan of Student Affairs gave a report. He mentioned a plan to hold a memorial service for the student who recently passed — Elizabeth Sloan. He urged all senators who may have an interest to contact Laura Tordenti, Vice President for Student Affairs.
  • Hazan also addressed some concerns over the selection process for those students who sat on stage during President Barack Obama’s speech. Hazan said that initially SALD was charged with selecting 25 student leaders. That was on Sunday. On Monday, SALD found out that these 25 students were not the only ones to sit on stage, that other departments were selecting students as well. Additionally, Hazan said that the White House also had guests sitting on the platform.
  • Hazan said that it cost the university nothing to have Obama come to campus and speak.
  • SGA President Brian Choplick said that tickets for the Spring Concert are not selling as quickly as they did last year, so some additional marketing strategies will need to be put into place.
  • Senator Alexander Lee of the Academic Affairs committee talked about the formation of the STEM school. Lee said that most students affected by the formation are aware of it and that no facilities will be directly affected.
  • The senate approved a number of contingency requests and line item changes presented by the Finance Committee.

Information based off of minutes recorded by Brittany Burke, SGA University Assistant


SGA Bullet Points

By Joe Suszczynski

  • Dr. Laura Tordenti, Vice President for Student Affairs, discussed in her report Senator Chris Murphy’s initiative to curb efforts of smoking on college campuses when he wrote a letter to Central Connecticut State University President, Jack Miller.
  •  During committee reports Student Life Chairman, Senator Simms Sonet, announced that scholarships are due on March 13, 2014, which is a Thursday.
  •  A motion was made to approve a change in the Muslim Student Association line item, which ended up passing with 30 “yes” votes with two “abstain” votes.
  •  Senator Bobby Berriault motioned to transfer $1,544.60 SG9195 (reserves) to SG9120 (for use by Senate). Treasurer Mills amended the motion so it would read that the money would be taken from SG9010 to SG9195, which corrected the accounts that Senator Berriault intended to use, which ended up passing. The motion ended up failing with 13 “no” votes, 12 “yes” votes and six “abstain” votes.
  •  Senator Teige Christiano motioned to add section 5-E which adds two more senators to SGA that are part-time students. Christiano said that there should be “more representation of part time students on campus” and that it will also help out committees. After debating both sides of the motion, it ended being referred to the Ad-hoc committee, which will give its report by Monday March 24, 2014. The motion was made by Senator Alex Lee.
Colleen Lennehan

SGA Bullet Points

By Joe Suszczynski

  • Public Affairs Committee Chairman Dean Ott announced that general elections will be April 8, 9 and 10. He also mentioned that asking students to like the Student Government Association’s Facebook page while giving out promotional items led to a 700 percent increase on the number of likes on the page.
  •  A motion was made to add a section to the SGA bylaws in regards to adding a Board of Regent Student Advisory Committee Membership Election. An amendment was made and passed to take out some of the language in section D of the bylaw referring to where the open candidate seat will be posted and advertised. The motion was passed unanimously.
  •  Senator Bobby Berriault motioned to amend section 4-3 (f) in the SGA bylaws with the intent to change the language so it would read “Only clubs which are student driven and officially recognized by the university may petition for a base budget.” After much debate from both sides the motion ended up failing.
  •  A motion was made to a line item to move $4,140 from the Blue Devil Social to be used as follows: $1,140 for “Devil’s Den: Battle of the Clubs”, $300 for food for the E-board debate, $300 for food for the candidate gallery, $1,000 for an inflatable for the candidate gallery, and $1,400 for SGA hats. The motion ended up being split up into five different motions so each line item change could be clarified. All five of the newly made motions ended up passing.

Initiative Calls for Cleaner Campus

By Jaimie Leasure

The Student Life Committee is looking into adopting a program called “Campus for Compassion” to initiate small steps in a cleaner and “greener” campus.

Western Connecticut State University has already adopted this initiative. The Central’s committee has a number of ideas they plan on pursuing for spring and the upcoming fall semester.

The Fresh Start Project was proposed by student Andrew ‘Wellington’ Pegg.  “We really need to unify ourselves as a community and make it a stronger presence of caring especially for the environment and for the people around us,” said Pegg.

The project would entail walking across campus picking up trash along the way,  then dividing everything up to recycle it properly.  Next, a company in New Britain will turn the recyclables into T-shirts.  These T-Shirts are just the ammunition for the rest of the project.

After the original walk on campus, there would be a trash pick–up walk across New Britain.  “I want to promote that this planet isn’t going to be around forever if we keep treating it the way we are,” said Pegg. “This is not a Central thing, it’s an everyone thing.”

SGA Senator, Teige Christiano, has his own vision for a campus-wide wellness event that would raise awareness of students with disabilities.

The “It’s not easy being green” movement would be a daylong event with different activities to allow students to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Disabilities like sight, mobility, speech, allergies and hearing are some challenges that people don’t understand.  To help with this, some ideas were to have seeing eye dogs and taste testing stations so people could see what it’s like to live with some of these disabilities.

“We need to give students the opportunity to become compassionate,” said Christiano.

“’Cross the Line’ is a way to learn about people that you have preconceived notions about, who maybe you just see them and hated them,” said Cassidy Delaney, a senator.

An example of this would be, who here has ever been sexually abused?  If they have, then they will cross the line.

“I learned so much about people I went to high school with, who I thought were just jerks,” Delaney. “A lot of trust goes into it and it shows that being human you judge people before you even know them.”

“Since campus for compassion is such a fresh thing, we need to throw it in people’s faces,” said Joni Moody.

Posters and signs that make people think about what they are saying to others and raising positivity.  Having a compliment campaign was another idea by Moody, “Just giving someone a compliment can make someone’s day.”

Wyatt Bosworth believes that a Free Hug Day would be a positive act of kindness all across campus. “It’s such a powerful event,” said Bosworth.

“Hugging people as they go to class and having a table with a pledge on it with how many people you want to hug today,” said Bosworth.

“Somebody recently asked me if we could have a room full of puppies, the guy stated his issues with anxiety and how it would help people like him,” said Emily Gregonis.

Dogs are around during finals week, but college students have stress throughout the whole semester.  “Maybe we could get dogs here more than just the end of the semester, because we have tests the whole semester.”