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Record Number of Student Orgs get SGI Recognition

Fifteen new student organizations will be recognized as official University groups after Student Government, Inc. voted in favor at a floor meeting on Nov. 19.

The process was originally scheduled to take place over the course of two SGI meetings, but was delayed because there weren’t enough representatives present at the Nov. 15 meeting. So all 15 groups seeking official status instead had to present on Nov. 19 to complete the process.

Mark Benavides, chair of the SGI Organizations Committee, said the 15 groups that took part in the “Power to Organize” process this year was a record.

Three groups were granted full SGI recognition, which includes an annual budget: the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), The Catholic Student Community, and The Albanian American Cultural Club.

The other 13 groups  were recognized by SGI under the new non-budgetary group, formed during the first SGI floor meeting of the semester. Groups under this category will receive all the benefits of being an SGI recognized organization, with the exception of receiving an annual budget.

Benavides said that the recognition of some of these groups would not only benefit the members within it, but the entire school as well.

“Out of the 15 organizations that were approved, 10 are members of a National or International Parent Organization,” he said. “Meaning St. John’s University students are going to have the opportunity to represent us on a larger scale that spans New York.”

Peter Barker, Catholic Student Community’s Be a Saint chairperson, said the process of reaching the SGI floor meeting helped prepare him and the group for any questions that members on the floor might have.

“Retrospectively it was pretty important for them to ask us those questions,” he said.

“They were asking us tough questions such as, ‘Why do you want to be separate from Campus Ministry?’ In the long run it was good for us. We had answers for everything.”

Barker said SGI asked during the preliminary process why his group was requesting a budget, to which Barker replied, “We wanted to have a budget so we can be separate from Campus Ministry. Right now we’re paying for events out of pocket. We’re by no means a small organization.”

Additional reporting by Anthony O’Reilly, News Editor

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