By Alyssa Sanford
The TCNJ Ski and Snowboard Club and the TCNJ Political Union both earned Student Government (SG) recognition at the Wednesday, April 20, general body meeting, amid votes and debates about bills.
TCNJ Ski and Snowboard Club, which is “on the border of being a club or a club sport,” according to club representatives, is open to students of all skill levels. The club has already obtained a club sport insurance policy, as well as approval from Director of Recreation Robert Simels, before meeting with the Governmental Affairs (GA) committee on Sunday, April 3.
Club representatives intend to book biweekly weekend trips to mountains near the College, including Blue Mountain and Spring Mountain in Pennsylvania, with the help of Student Finance Board (SFB) funding. Should SFB be unable to fully fund the club’s request for busing every other weekend, members plan to fundraise or have members with cars transport the club to the resort.
Based on the club’s flexibility and the charter member list that boasts 28 freshmen, 20 sophomores, 14 juniors, eight seniors and one graduate student, SG voted to approve the club.
TCNJ Political Union seeks to “increase and sustain student involvement in the political process” by engaging students, staff and faculty, regardless of political affiliation, according to the GA report. The club itself is nonpartisan, but it encourages members to express diverse political viewpoints, club representatives said.
The club has been recruiting members to write posts for The Signal through its “We, The Campus” blog. It has also been forming alliances with organizations like the Center for Community Engaged Learning & Research, Residential Life and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life in order to reach as many students as possible. Next semester, according to representatives, the club wants to work with Lions Television to increase engagement.
The club will also host biweekly panels on political issues that resonate with the College community and bring in speakers. They will need SG recognition to reserve space for events and obtain funding from SFB to book speakers.
General body members passed the club without debate.
Next, Vice President of Governmental Affairs Ceili Boles presented B-2016-03 — a bill that would repeal the Fall 2015 semester’s “General Member Bill” (B-F2015-06) and relax requirements to join SG as a general member. Under the new bill, students would join by emailing the SG account to be recognized as a general member with no additional requirements.
A spirited debate broke out, with some members arguing that relaxed requirements would not bode well for SG’s status as a reputable organization with highly involved members.
Ultimately, with no proposed replacement for B-S2016-03 in place, general body members moved to table the bill.
B-S2016-04, or the repeal of the “Student Teaching Bill” (B-F2015-05), would allow any members with academic commitments, like student teaching posts or internships, to be excused from general body and governance meetings as needed. The bill did not pass, so B-F2015-05 remains in effect.
Finally, B-S2016-05 would redefine the role of SG’s parliamentarian, who oversees debates and familiarizes the general body with SG’s constitution. The bill would allow them to vote and debate. However, the bill was tabled indefinitely after much debate.
After the presentation of the three bills, Boles announced that the Wednesday, April 27, general body meeting will be held at the New Jersey State House. It is an annual meeting that general body and elected members attend each spring semester.
“The State House is beautiful, and we get to be all fancy and have our meeting there,” Boles explained to prospective SG members in attendance.
Student Trustee Kevin Kim announced that on Tuesday, April 26, at 2:30 p.m., College President R. Barbara Gitenstein held a public session in room 106 of Loser Hall for the Board of Trustees annual tuition hearing. The meeting was open to students who could learn about upcoming changes to tuition costs.
Adviser Elizabeth Bapasola updated the general body on the College’s search for the first Director of Student Involvement — a position that was created after former Director of Student Activities Tim Asher retired in February 2016. The Office of Student Involvement resulted from a merge of the Office of Student Activities and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, according to Bapasola in a Signal article from Tuesday, March 22.
“It’s a really important hire and we value student feedback,” Bapasola said.
The finalists for the new position will visit the College for open fora with students, faculty and staff on Monday, May 2; Tuesday, May 3; Monday, May 9; and Tuesday, May 10, according to Bapasola.