Adrian Suarez Avila/ Staff Writer
Five religious studies students caused a stir during the Modesto A. Maidique Student Government senate meeting on Nov. 10.
Student senators debated whether to appropriate $900 so these students could register to attend a national conference for Theta Alpha Kappa, an honor society recognizing the achievements of theology and religious studies students.
While some senators were ready and willing to approve the appropriation, others were hesitant.
Some senators were concerned that the students sought help from the finance committee. They believed that the group, comprised mostly of graduate students, should have asked the Graduate and Professional Student Committee for Funding.
Rhett Williamson, graduate senator and chairperson of the GPSC, understood why the group didn’t ask the GPSC for funding.
Williamson confessed that the GPSC’s strict funding policies may deter some students from seeking funding assistance from the committee.
In such a case, students will prefer to go to the finance committee, which boasts policies that are more lax, according to Williamson.
The religious studies group said they didn’t know about the graduate committee, and even if they had, they missed the deadline to apply for funding through it.
While Williamson admitted that he cannot change some policies of the GPSC, despite his desire to do so, he mentioned that the committee is working on adjusting some policies to find a middle ground with the finance committee.
“I would rather graduate students always come to us so that we can fund graduate students, because that’s what we’re here for,” said Williamson.
Despite continued arguments by some senators, such as Tomas Alcala, speaker pro tempore and College of Architecture and The Arts senator, who reminded the senators to be wary of applications filed by students dodging funding policies, the appropriation passed unanimously.
The Senate also approved by unanimous consent an appropriation to fund $229 for the registration fee of an undergraduate student attending an annual convention for the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Philadelphia, Pa. from Nov. 20 to 23.
Future events were also a topic of discussion.
The Senate is planning a Meet the Student Government Association event for spring 2015.
Although students are free to visit the SGA office in Graham Center room 211, those interested in mingling with the entire Senate will have to wait until spring semester.
Despite the fact that a Meet the Senate event was in the works for later this semester, SGA members decided to postpone the event until spring.
While the initial plan was to give students the chance to speak to their SGC-MMC senators, the event in spring 2015 will allow students to meet members of the Cabinet as well during the Week of Welcome.