Two clubs approved; twenty inactive

The International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) and the Student Society for Stem Cell Research were approved at last week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting. IAJE was approved with only one vote in dissention, while the other club was approved by a unanimous vote. These approvals came two weeks after the denial of club status to the seven-year premedical club, Alpha Zeta.

Tim Asher, associate director of Student Activities, gave a presentation regarding potential new policy for the assured success of new clubs at the College. Two weeks prior, SGA received notification from Asher’s office that 20 clubs at the College had become inactive.

Sophomore music major Colleen McDonald, freshman music education major Brian Plagge and junior music major Jeff Auriemma presented IAJE to SGA, outlining its objectives and goals.

As an internationally recognized organization, IAJE “fosters and promotes jazz education,” McDonald said.

McDonald said that the College’s music department focuses primarily on classical genres of music, creating a “lack of support” for jazz. IAJE will allow for students’ musical endeavors into jazz, as well as prepare them for careers in music education.

The primary goal of IAJE will be the hosting of a middle school and high school jazz festival at the College. McDonald said that IAJE will contact middle school and high school jazz programs, roughly within a 30 to 40 mile radius of the College, and invite them to take part in the festival. McDonald also said that the College chapter of IAJE will not seek Student Finance Board (SFB) funding, but will fundraise through activities instead.

Dan Beckelman, junior senator at-Large, was the only SGA member to vote against the club’s approval.

IAJE gave “a very poor presentation,” Beckelman said.

In debate leading up to IAJE’s approval, Beckelman questioned whether IAJE might be incorporated into any of the other music education oriented clubs at the College.

Junior biology majors Natalie Cedeno and Krysta Johns-Harris presented the goals and objectives of the Student Society for Stem Cell Research. Cedeno said that members of the organization work to enhance public education and awareness regarding stem cell research by bringing speakers to the College. The club will also provide internships, job opportunities, and possibilities for involvement in research for its members. Cedeno also said that the club will take part in internal fundraising activities as well as for outside charitable organizations, such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

In his presentation, Asher asked SGA members to work together with the office of Student Activities in order to assure the success of new student organizations. Asher proposed a joint recognition and registration process for potential new clubs. This course would inform student leaders of campus resources and advertisement restrictions.

“Students who are trained are better student leaders,” Asher said.

Asher cited clubs including the Poker Club and TCNJ Paintball, which had gone inactive. By creating a new program with the help of SGA, Asher hopes to prevent new clubs from gradually slipping into inactivity. The new program is likely to involve SGA members as well as members of SFB, and Asher himself.

“The success (of student clubs) is what our office is all about,” Asher said.

Academic Affairs chairman Steven Link discussed plans for a resolution commending the work of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) for their new program, ProfRecord. ProfRecord will replace Pick-a-Prof with its provision of grade distributions and comments regarding professors at the College. ProfRecord is scheduled to be in place for class selection for the Spring semester.

“SGA is indebted to ACM for putting the program through,” Link said.

The resolution commending ACM will be attached to the club’s application for SFB recognition in order to facilitate their approval by SFB.

Kamaria Byrd, Equity and Diversity chairwoman, took offense to a comic which appeared in the Funstuff section of The Signal last week. Byrd said that the comic, titled “Arabs on a Plane,” was offensive.

Citing complications arising from a statement made by executive vice president James Gant as well as the comic, Byrd said that “The Signal needs to be held responsible.”

In response to Byrd’s statement, Beckelman said that “(Members of the equity and diversity committee) try to make everything PC.”

Student Services chairman, Chris Rindosh, addressed student concerns regarding loud, early morning garbage pickup behind Decker, Travers and Wolfe halls. Rindosh said that the College’s contract with the waste management company states that pickup is to occur after 7 a.m. Rindosh requested that students make note of any pickups occurring before that time.

SGA internal elections took place in closed session. Aaliyah Ali, senator of culture and society, was elected Historian. John Ronan, speaker of the senate, was re-elected to his position.