Senate Will Discuss Conferences Amendment at Meeting

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By Benjamin Pontz, Managing News Editor

A controversial amendment to the Senate bylaws that would restrict the body’s funding of conferences to $200 per attendee among other provisions will be discussed when Senate convenes tonight at 7:00 p.m. in CUB 260 for its final meeting of the semester.

The amendment, as proposed at the November 13 meeting, states:

1. Should the Student Senate or the BMC allocate funding to a conference or an equivalent event (as defined by the BMC), the following procedures shall be followed:

(i) The total amount allotted by the Senate for a conference or equivalent event shall not exceed that of $200 per attendee.

(ii) Clubs will be responsible for funding half the total cost of the registration of attendees for the conference or equivalent event.

(iii) Any club attending a conference or equivalent event must advertise the conference or equivalent event to the entire campus community in some form and present proof that they did so to the Clubs Liaison before the date of that event.

(iv) Any club attending a conference or equivalent event must have verifiable proof that they explored obtaining funding from relevant Educational Departments, the Eisenhower Institute, the Provost’s Office, or other relevant offices or organizations. That proof must be submitted to the Clubs Liaison prior to them being allotted funding.

(v) Any club that has used Senate funding to attend a conference or equivalent event must host an educational event advertised and open to the entire campus showcasing the club’s experience. If the club does not host said event, the club will be placed on fiscal probation.

While some discussion has occurred in the subsequent meetings since the first reading of the amendment, which came out of the policy committee, it has twice been tabled due to other agenda items requiring more immediate attention. During the limited discussion at the November 27 meeting, Senator Jack Lashendock ’20, who serves as president of Model UN, which attends several conferences each year (some of which rely on Senate funding – $4405.72 was allotted to the club at Senate’s October 16 meeting, which funded two conferences for a total of 17 students), said that it “sickened” him that fewer students might be able to attend conferences should the amendment pass.

Meanwhile, Haley Gluhanich, Co-President of College Republicans, and Marley Dizney Swanson, President of College Democrats, released a joint statement Sunday afternoon encouraging Senate to table the amendment until next semester to allow further discussion with clubs and a “more thorough analysis of an appropriate number at which to cap funds.”

Further, they argue that conferences provide opportunities for students that, for example, bringing speakers to campus does not.

“For example, we all love a good speaker on campus. But is spending $3,000 to get a speaker on campus that much more valuable than watching the speaker online? Conferences provide networking opportunities, public speaking practice, and publicity for Gettysburg,” they said.

(College Republicans was allotted $2963.63 at the October 30 meeting for 16 students to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference. College Democrats was allotted $2000 at the November 6 meeting to bring co-founder of “Run for Something” Amanda Litmann to campus.)

Tonight’s Student Senate meeting will be live streamed starting at 7:00 p.m. on The Gettysburgian’s Facebook page.

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

Benjamin Pontz '20 serves as managing news editor of The Gettysburgian, a position he has held since the middle of his first year, during which he wrote 50 articles on topics ranging from student activism on campus to sports. Ben also served as the event coverage and social media coordinator and led the paper's inaugural efforts using Facebook Live and live tweeting events on campus. He is a political science and public policy double major with a minor in music, and he reads up to seven newspapers daily. Follow him on Twitter @benpontz.

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