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Journal of Critical Thinking requests $40,000 to host Nicholas Sparks

By Mark Strom

Staff Writer

The Student Government Association (SGA) voted to table a $40,000 funding request from the Journal of Critical Thinking (JCT) on Oct. 8.

According to Rachel Gelinas, the president of JCT, the organization would like to host Nicholas Sparks, author of “The Notebook” and “A Walk to Remember.” Gelinas said that the plan would be to have Sparks speak about his experience as an author in order to “promote reading and writing of all kinds.”

JCT requested $40,000 to fund the event. According to Gelinas, the group plans to spend $35,000 to pay for Sparks’ speaking fee, and $5,000 for Sparks to receive first-class airfare and stay at a four- or five-star hotel.

Gelinas said JCT plans to host the event in a 500-seat venue, with admission not being limited to students. The proposed ticket price is $10, which would result in a subsidized cost of $70 per person.

According to JCT’s funding request, the price is “pending co-sponsorship” from other organizations. Co-sponsors would help to promote the event and ensure its overall success.

An initial motion to approve the funding was questioned by Senator Olivia Harvey, who wanted to know how the co-sponsorship would be regulated. President Larry Liuzzo explained that there was no way to regulate co-sponsorship once funds had been approved.

Vice President Dan Costello said that $40,000 is “upwards of 20 percent” of SGA’s unallocated funding.

“This is a lot of money, so we have to be careful with how we’re spending it,” said Costello. “I suggest that we table this motion for now and see if we can get two, three or more other clubs to sponsor with them.”

Senator Susan Siraco was hesitant to table the request, fearing that it would continue to be tabled indefinitely. “I feel like if we table it now, it’s just going to get to the point where it’s not even going to be able to happen,” said Siraco.

Harvey addressed Siraco’s concerns. “We’re only tabling the event to see if they can get more information about co-sponsorship,” said Harvey. “It has to be brought up again [next week], and we can’t table it for the same reason if they bring us the information.”

In other news:

• The Christian Fellowship was allocated $1,610 to purchase tickets for a concert by Hillsong, a Christian rock group. The concert is being held in Boston Garden on Friday, Nov. 15. Students will not be charged for tickets, but will need to provide a $5-$10 down payment to reserve seats on the bus to the concert.

• The FSU History Club was allocated $450 to fund a bus trip to Salem on Sunday, Oct. 27. The bus will leave campus at 10:00 a.m. and will return to campus at around 4:00 p.m. According to Khalid Antar, treasurer of the history club, students will be “free to roam” Salem for the time spent in the city, but will be required to meet at a specific location for the bus back to campus.

• SGA approved constitutional amendments for the Comic Book Club and WDJM. However, constitutional amendments for the Black Student Union were tabled due to the representative not attending the meeting.

• SGA was allocated $1,610.05 for 200 SGA promotional long-sleeve T-shirts. All SGA members agreed not to give distribution priority to acting members of the organization, and will instead distribute on a “first come first serve” basis.


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