Student Government dips into surplus

Student Government, Inc. decided to transfer $50,000 from their surplus budget into the special allocations budget during Monday’s meeting because they were unable to fund all the events.

The meeting started with $7,939.10 in the special allocations budget. After certain organizations were granted money the budget was decreased to $5,730.10 by the middle of the meeting, which was not enough to continue.

The transfer of money was made after JSA was denied money for their annual Seder.

After the transfer, The Caribbean Student’s Association was allotted approximately $20,000 for Carifest Week, a week long celebration of the Caribbean culture.

“It is an opportunity for us to express our culture, food and clothing to the St. John’s community,” Vivian Saunders, president of the Caribbean Student’s Association, said.

The celebration will begin with a Carifest Week Soccer Tournament at DaSilva Field on April 6. The association expects around 150 people to attend the event.

The Budget Committee recommended approval of all events associated with the week. The only recommendation to deny was for the organization’s request for $300 to make flyers for the Benefit Concert on April 12. However, the request was approved by SGI.

O.LA.S. was allotted $1,475 for a fund raising event associated with the MS Walk on the Great Lawn. The organization initially requested $6,375 and the Budget Committee recommended to deny. However, during the meeting Carol Guzman, the secretary of O.L.A.S., said the organization would be willing to bring down the price by having a DJ at the event rather than a live band. The motion was approved by the floor.

Students for Life requested $500 for the Bowl-a-Thon on April 11. The entire cost of the event is $1,100.

“We have $100 from earned income and $500 from the Residence Hall Association,” Nina Petraro, member of Students for Life, said.

“All the proceeds from the event go to Momma’s House,” Petraro said. Momma’s House is a charity that helps young mothers take care of themselves and their children.

Phi Sigma Tau, the Philosophy Honor Society, was approved and given the power to organize. It is open to anyone who is able to meet the conditions.

The Organization of Pakistani Students was also given the power to organize. The purpose of the organization is to provide a platform for Pakistani students and to showcase their culture at St. John’s.

The proposed academic honor code was discussed during the meeting. Many amendments were made to the proposed document. In the original document the academic honor code is optional to sign. Chris Coes, the research and development chair for Student Government, recommended the document be mandatory to sign.

He proposed, “during admissions a student must sign the letter before being formally accepted into the University.”

“The challenge with the honor code will be the students that are currently enrolled at St. John’s,” Caragh De Luca said. It does not state anywhere in the proposed honor code document that the current students are required to sign it.

The amendments were approved by Student Government. In order for the proposed amendments to pass the document must be passed by the University Senate and the Board of Trustees.

In other business, Student Government closed its meeting to the public and media for five minutes for the first time in three years. The meeting was temporarily private because their was miscommunication between who would be appointed as the new junior senator. Vibhuti Arya resigned from the position last semester. The new senator will be Lemor Cambi.