Sunday, May 19, 2024

SA Senate belatedly approves 5 clubs for permanent status


By Aleksandra Sidorova

The Student Association Senate approved five clubs for permanent status at its meeting April 23, months overdue.

The five clubs approved were the Hospitality Management Club, the Cooking Club, the Environmental Club, Female Excellence in Science and Technology and a chapter of the human rights organization Amnesty International. All decisions were unanimous.

The Hospitality Management Club engages students interested in business in discussion, alumni panels, and experts and leaders in the field. The club has plans to host tours to hospitality establishments, such as breweries, restaurants and ski resorts, a club representative said.

The club was due for permanent status Oct. 9, 2023, Senator Sandesh Poudel said at the meeting. He also voiced his support, noting he had seen the club be consistently active.

Zaniah Smalls, president of the Cooking Club, entered the Alumni Conference Room just as the Senate was considering tabling the club’s approval to a later meeting. Smalls said she sees potential to connect students and foster collaboration between other clubs through cooking.

“One thing I know that could connect everybody is food. Everybody loves food,” Smalls said. “You can’t go wrong with food. I really feel that the Cooking Club will be 100% beneficial to campus if you guys give me a chance to prove to you that it will be great.”

Senator Arshita Pandey endorsed the Cooking Club, saying it is “very active.” The club was due for permanent status Aug. 28, 2023.

The next club to be approved was a chapter of Amnesty International, due for permanent status Oct. 9, 2023. Both the international organization and its SUNY Plattsburgh chapter bring attention to human rights violations worldwide, a club representative said. 

The club hosts discussions about human rights and participates in the organization’s Write for Rights campaign, in which participants write emails, letters, social media posts and petitions to politicians, demanding the release of jailed or detained activists.

Senator Tasmayee Jagtap said she attended and enjoyed the club’s most recent event centered on reproductive rights.

The goal of Female Excellence in Science and Technology, also known as FEST, is to create student interest in science and especially highlight women’s contributions, a club representative said. The club started in the spring 2023 semester and was due for permanent status Oct. 16, 2023.

“A lot of female accomplishments go unrecognized still. It’s crazy, but they still do,” the representative said. “The goal of our club is to bring female scientists’ contributions to light and to show everyone that we are capable of big things, just like men are.”

Senator Ankita Mane said she attended a few of FEST’s meetings.

“There are not a lot of clubs related to science and females, so I’d say, definitely, great job,” Mane said.

The last club to be approved for permanent status was the Environmental Club. 

The club was restarted in spring 2023, President Samuel Lubell said. The Environmental Club was previously known as the Environmental Studies Club and was renamed to invite students outside of the environmental studies major. It was due for permanent status Oct. 26, 2023. 

The Environmental Club’s recent activities were a trip to the Montreal Biodome and Insectarium in collaboration with the Botany Club on April 13 as well as a community clean up Saturday, April 27. “We don’t get a lot of opportunities to go outside,” another Environmental Club representative said.

The Senate approved the club, but suggested strategies for it to grow its presence on campus and online.

Poudel said the SA discovered the clubs were due for permanent status when it was finalizing club budgets for the upcoming fiscal and academic years. 

Changes in professional and student SA staff and at the beginning of the academic year caused the SA to lose track of club status requests. Additionally, the Clubs and Organizations Affairs Board had difficulty coordinating its members’ schedules to set meeting times, settling for hybrid meetings.

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