By Adam Levine
SGA approved a budget for the Martial Arts Club and inducted a new senator at its Oct. 24 meeting.
The meeting opened with Senators Jeremy McDonald and Tony Sims expressing concerns during Open Forum regarding broken laundry machines in Larned and Horace Mann halls.
McDonald said only two of the six laundry machines in Larned work properly.
Sims said the machines in Horace Mann are experiencing similar problems and he is forced to do his laundry in other dorms.
Senator Jacob Sargent spoke on behalf of the Gaming Club and inquired about the use of the eSports Room in Larned.
Sims brought up concerns regarding the lack of space to advertise events on the second and third floors of the McCarthy Center.
He said, “There is just about no way besides the posters on the pillar to advertise events.
“I believe that is making it difficult for smaller events to get the publicity that they deserve,” Sims added.
Student Activities Trust Fund Treasurer Aimme Takoud introduced Mark Cote, president of the club, who requested a budget of $1,299.98 for an initial startup of the Martial Arts Club.
Cote said the items on the budget included mats, gloves, shoes, disinfecting spray for the mats, and a new punching bag.
He said most of the items are safety- and sanitation-oriented.
Cote added the equipment is to ensure the club is “safe - that we can do the proper training without anybody getting hurt.”
He added as a new club, “We have to start somewhere.”
Senators raised questions regarding the club’s proposed budget.
Sargent questioned the amount of equipment requested in the budget, specifically eight pairs of gloves.
Cote said nine people, not including himself, attended the club’s first two meetings and he estimates 12 people will participate this semester.
Senator Sean Keaveney asked about the request for sparring equipment.
Keaveney noted Cote’s request for shin and hand protection. “If you're sparring, is there any need for headgear or some kind of protective mask or mouth guards?”
Cote said, “Initially, I don't think that starting out sparring is something that we should do at this point, considering the fact that we just got started.
“Definitely, sparring is an aspect of martial arts training. It's very important,” he added.
Cote said more than half of the club’s members are beginners and he plans to focus on practicing strikes and drills before beginning sparring.
He added, “I feel like in general, we won't be ready for actual sparring until at least next semester.”
In regards to headgear, Cote said there are studies showing different opinions on the safety of headgear in combat sports.
He said analyses of concussions in combat sports found headgear “increases concussions in some cases because people are more likely to get hit harder because they see headgear - it's a psychological thing.”
Cote said the purchase of headgear is “something to explore in the future once we are in a place for sparring.”
He added headgear is only used during sparring, but the pads in the budget request can be used during drills and training.
The motion to approve the budget passed.
During new business, President Evelyn Campbell swore in a new senator, freshman Megan Rokicki.
Rokicki said, “I like advocating for the students here.”
She added she cares about what students “need or want to see happen on campus.”
Rokicki said she wants to listen to “any issues that they have that they can't necessarily talk to anyone about” and she wants to “try to get those resources.”
During officers' reports, Student Trustee Ryan Mikelis said the Administrators’ Forum will now be called Town Hall.
Mikelis said, “We're shifting the name to Town Hall to try to make it a little more understanding for students who might not know all that much about the ins and outs of administration.”
Mikelis said the Town Hall will be on Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the McCarthy Forum.
He said this is an opportunity for SGA members and all students to express any concerns they have with the University’s administrators. “It is a chance for you to respectfully, professionally address concerns to administrators in an open setting.”
Secretary Anna Risotti presented the “U-Rock” to McDonald because he has “stepped up in their position and has taken the initiative to join things and go out to different events.”