Student Government sanctioned two organizations and derecognized two during its meeting on Wednesday, April 6. Pro-life advocacy group TCNJ Students for Life and interactive multimedia group ACM SIGGRAPH gained club status, while the Indoor Soccer Club and theatre honor society Alpha Psi Omega lost club status.
Two students spoke on behalf of TCNJ Students for Life.
“Our group is for the pro-life movement. We’re trying to end abortion,” said senior finance major Matthew Holly. “We’re all about discussion and dialogue. No screaming and yelling — just intelligent, adult conversation.”
TCNJ Students for Life currently counts about 25 students among its members, “and that’s without advertising,” said senior psychology major Kristin Garone. According to Holly, the group has met biweekly since last semester.
“We want people to know that there are intelligent arguments on both sides of the fence. It should be a balanced perspective that students are offered here at the College,” Garone said.
According to Holly, several members attended the 2011 Students for Life of America National Conference in January. The club also hopes to take on some philanthropic endeavors.
“We would also like to assert our view that life is precious by going into nursing homes and letting the people know that yes, we still do care about you,” Garone said, mentioning that the group also plans to hold clothes drives.
SG’s vice president of Equity and Diversity, Lynette Barnes, questioned the club’s singularity. The senior psychology and women’s and gender studies double major asked whether TCNJ Students for Life would be better suited as a subcommittee of an existing group, such as College Republicans, rather than a club in its own right.
“I think that would alienate a lot of pro-life people who aren’t Republican,” Holly said.
As SG deliberated whether to grant TCNJ Students for Life club status, Barnes voiced concern about the organization.
“I’m a little worried about what this might say to campus … This might be a little too one-sided,” Barnes said. “It’s not inclusive.”
Other members held that it wasn’t SG’s job to determine if the club was exclusionary.
“It’s none of our business to assess their bias,” said senior management major and senator-at-large John Wintermute.
Others proposed that the group would fill a niche on campus.
“I think it is our duty as Student Government representatives to encourage discussion like this … It’s not our responsibility to judge what they’re doing,” said Randi-Lynn Veenstra, junior history major and alternate student trustee. “They do have, as the foreground of their club, informative discussion.”
TCNJ Students for Life passed by a majority vote.
ACM SIGGRAPH also gained club status at last week’s meeting.
ACM SIGGRAPH is the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery’s special interest group on computer graphics and interactive techniques. The interest group currently has nine student chapters, according to its website.
“Establishing an official chapter at (the College) will allow students the chance to network with one another to develop, share and collaborate on various projects, endeavors and ideas,” said Jen Hurler, junior interactive multimedia major.
ACM SIGGRAPH passed by a unanimous vote.
Student Government withdrew club status from Indoor Soccer Club and Alpha Psi Omega by passing R-S2011-01, a resolution to derecognize the groups after they did not reregister this year.
“SG-recognized organizations are required to register every year with the Office of Student Activities, and organizations that fail to register with the Office of Student Activities are subject to derecognition by SG,” said senior political science major and vice president of Legal and Governmental Affairs Brian Block, reading from the resolution.
Emily Brill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org