SG lawyers up, gives students legal council option

By Alyssa Sanford                                                                                                       Web Editor

Two clubs, which recently received formal recognition, proposed upcoming plans during the Wednesday, March 23, general body meeting of Student Government (SG).

First, the TCNJ Tap Ensemble, which earned unanimous approval from the Governmental Affairs (GA) committee on Sunday, Feb. 28, fielded questions from the general body about the club.

Club representatives said that they are “dedicated to teaching both novice and expert tap dancers and preserving this classical art form.” Beginner tap dancers do not need tap shoes to dance and can learn modified versions of advanced choreography if they wish to participate in performances, representatives said.

TCNJ Tap Ensemble executive board members said there are 13 charter members, with 10 freshmen and three sophomores, which assures them that the club’s longevity will not be a problem in the near future.

According to the club’s official proposal, TCNJ Tap Ensemble needs formal recognition from SG in order to book practice space and to hold performances in Kendall Hall’s Black Box Theater. It would also need Student Finance Board (SFB) funding for costumes and stage design.

Because the executive board members are all experienced tap dancers, they are comfortable teaching novice tappers and assured the general body that teaching experience is not necessary to help fellow students learn tap, members said. They also said that TCNJ Synergy’s advisor, faculty member Kevin Potucek, will also serve as TCNJ Tap Ensemble’s adviser.

TCNJ Tap Ensemble, unlike TCNJ Synergy, is “a completely tap-based group,” executive board members explained in response to a question about the differences between the two dance groups. TCNJ Synergy blends different styles of dance in its routines and holds auditions for experienced dancers, whereas TCNJ Tap Ensemble invites dancers of all levels to join and only teaches tap routines, members said.

Next, the TCNJ Physician’s Assistant Club presented to the general body. It gained approval from GA on Sunday, March 6.

According to the official proposal, TCNJ Physician’s Assistant Club “helps students gain knowledge on necessary requirements and prerequisites to apply to physician’s assistant (PA) school.” The proposal also outlined events that the club is planning to hold, such as an alumni panel, as well as a program with local hospitals that would help prospective students meet graduate school requirements.

Formal recognition from SG will allow the club to book event space and use an official College email account. A representative for the club also expressed interest in getting SFB funding for trips to PA school open houses.

The general body approved both clubs without prior debate before transitioning into announcements from cabinet members.

Vice President of Administration and Finance Tyler Holzer then unveiled his detailed plans for proposed changes to the Loop Bus service.

According to the plans, there would be two buses that run within 30 minutes of each other, beginning at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively. There would be different options for loops on specific days of the week.

For instance, one option would be an evening on which both buses run between the College, Hamilton Train Station, AMC movie theatre and Quaker Bridge Mall all night long.

On another day, the buses might run from the College to the Hamilton Train Station and then return to the College to loop between the College, Princeton, Market Fair, Nassau Park Pavilion and the Mercer Mall, Holzer said.

Most of the options outlined had Princeton or AMC movie theatre as the last pickup location because people tend to stay in Princeton or at the movies until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m.

TCNJ Tap Ensemble answers questions from SG.
TCNJ Tap Ensemble answers questions from SG.

Holzer also took suggestions for a possible mobile app on Android and iOS devices. As the plans stand now, Holzer believes that the app will feature a map of the Loop Bus route and a screen on which students can input their start and end locations and the day of the week so that their desired route pops up on the map. A second tab would display the Loop Bus schedule in full and a third tab would    provide information on each location.

Executive Vice President Javier Nicasio then announced an upcoming organizational retreat on Wednesday, April 13, following adviser Elizabeth Bapasola’s verbal confirmation on Wednesday, March 9, that the College is seeking alternatives to its Passport to Programming, the annual day-long session in September where all club and organization representatives gather to learn the logistics of planning events on campus.

“We’re hoping this can replace Passport in the future,” Nicasio said.

Liaisons from student organizations on campus will convene in Roscoe West Hall so that “student organization leaders can network with one another, build connections and build co-sponsorship,” Nicasio said.

Liaisons will attend a meeting run by SG President Casey Dowling and then regroup into sessions with cabinet members, head senators and representatives from organizations within each school at the College, Nicasio explained.

Vice President of Governmental Affairs Ceili Boles announced that starting on Friday, April 1, GA will start a voter registration initiative in Travers Hall, in which the floor that can prove it has the highest number of registered voters will win a pizza party. Boles added that because GA can only obtain 200 voter registration forms at a time, it would be too difficult to run the initiative in both of the freshman towers.

Next, student Trustee Kevin Kim announced that SG has secured a lawyer to represent all students and student organizations for a maximum of $2,000. The lawyer was hired for 20 hours, meaning that she will be paid $100 per hour, Kim said. Hiring a lawyer has been talked over by SG for some time, ensuring that student voices are heard.

“She can’t represent you in a court case (or offer legal advice in academic integrity cases, or) for anything through the school,” Kim explained, but the lawyer could represent students having disputes with landlords or student organizations that wish to move their bank accounts off campus.

Kim said that there will be a Google Form to fill out in order to get legal representation.

The junior class council thanked all volunteers and attendees of “TCNJ’s Got Talent,” which took place in Kendall Hall on Wednesday, March 9.

“It was one of the best talent shows that we’ve ever had,” Vice President for Operations Levi Klinger-Christensen said. “The talent there was phenomenal.”

Klinger-Christiansen also mentioned that the junior class is hoping to host a bus trip to Colonial Bowling or a similar venue before the end of the semester.

Sophomore class president Kelsey Capestro announced that SFB fully funded Spring Back, which will be held on Saturday, April 16, on the lawn in front of Travers and Wolfe halls. Capestro said there will be a gladiator joust, obstacle course, photo booth, foosball table and inflatable basketball hoops among other things at the event.

Lastly, the freshman class council’s New York City Bus Trip was fully funded by SFB for Saturday, April 9, according to President Carly Mauro.