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Funding approved for Martial Arts club at SGA


Maddison Behringer / THE GATEPOST

By Adam Harrison

Interim News Editor


The Student Government Association discussed the requested budget for the Martial Arts Club and amended several regulations in the bylaws at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 30. 


Vice President Raffi Elkhoury introduced the proposed budget for the Martial Arts Club and referred to the budget’s projected breakdown.


The first item on the breakdown is “a martial arts instructor. The idea here is to have a martial arts instructor come to campus and put on a class for students, and the idea was to have six of these classes,” he said.


Each of the classes would cost $200, so the total request for this item was $1,200. 


Other items included promotional T-shirts, foam practice swords and nunchucks - bringing the total to $1,573.86.  


Senator Tony Sims raised concerns about the cost of an instructor. “Do we have specific instructors lined up already, or is this a ballpark estimate?” he asked.


Elkhoury said the president of the Martial Arts Club “had talked to some specific company and that was the flat rate that they confirmed they were going to charge … per lesson.”


Senator Jacob Sargent raised concerns about potential fees “that are either not included or needed in conjunction with a martial arts instructor,” such as health insurance requirements.


The premise of having an instructor come to campus was to avoid the insurance fee that would be charged to each student if they were practicing in a dojo. 


Elkhoury said, “An individual insurance fee can’t be covered by SATF funds because it’s associated with a specific person. So it’s my understanding … that this method should avoid that individual fee. 


“I don’t know what other stipulations are required in terms of insurance or anything like that, but what I do know is that it shouldn’t influence our voting on this because it’s out of our domain.” 


Advisor Meghan Larkin said insurance wouldn’t affect the funding of this club either way. 


Clubs have the option to get waivers for some activities, for example, “Outing Club works with Gina [Pacitto, program coordinator at the Center for Student Experience and Career Development] to create a waiver for rock climbing for them, so Martial Arts Club will most likely work with Pacitto to get a waiver from any participant just to create liability safety,” she said. 


Senator Raena Doty asked why there were only 11 shirts on the budget if they were for promotional purposes. 


“If there’s only going to be 11 of them, it feels like they aren’t going to be used as promotional items. They will probably be given to members of the club, and I understand that members of the club love them, but it just feels like they could be used in better ways,” she said. 


Doty suggested waiting until the club got bigger so they could “order more [T-shirts] at a better rate.”


Senator Cesar Matos argued the T-shirts would serve the promotional purpose well.


“T-shirts are actually an investment in this case because we’re already doing a pretty steep investment when it comes to the instructor, and we want to make sure that we are advertising this club and we’re going to be best using the time of the instructor. 


“We want to make sure that it’s not just the current members of the Martial Arts Club joining, but making new prospective members join as well,” he said. 


The Martial Arts Club originally requested $299.88 for T-shirts but was misinformed the cap for promotional items was $200. Larkin examined the bylaws and said, “You can’t spend over $1,000 on promotional items, not $200.”


With the new information presented, Sargent made a motion to approve the Martial Arts Club’s request to include the additional amount they originally requested for promotional items, totaling $1,679.46.


Elkhoury said SGA needed to review seven regulations in the bylaws. “There will be more changes happening in the future -  we just wanted to get these completed before Big Budget because they’re funding-related,” he said. 


All seven bylaw amendments were passed. 


Elkhoury began by proposing an amendment for Article 4 Section 3, adding that all organizations are required to attend the annual budget review hosted by the Center for Student Experience and Career Development to maintain financial status at the discretion of the Finance Committee. 


“This is basically to hold them more accountable in terms of coming to budget meetings,” which teaches organizations “about how to use your money, how to access your money, and trainings on all of that type of stuff,” Elkhoury said. 


Article 3 Section 3C expanded Group 3 clubs’ permission to request budget increases from the unallocated funds anytime during the fall or spring semester instead of only during the spring semester.


Article 3 Section 4 removed a repeated clause.


Article 4 Section 4 removed the clause stating Group 3 clubs need to be heard starting in the fall if they have a budget plan for intended spending. 


Article 4 Section 6C part AI was expanded to include any revenue from trips or events that are funded by SATF funds go back into the SATF account. Student organizations do not keep the revenue. 


Article 4 Section 6D part AIII increased funding for fundraising requests to $200 from $100 “to re”flect the fact that $100 doesn’t go as far as it used to,” Elkhoury said. 


Article 4 Section 7B removed the clause stating a student parking permit will be provided to the President and Student Trustee of SGA.


Senator Tony Sims awarded the U-Rock to Jacob Sargent for being “incredibly punctual, reliable, and brilliant.”

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