By Roderick Macioch
During its weekly meeting on Wednesday, March 2, the Student Finance Board (SFB) granted funding for several requests, setting the stage for a variety of events in the coming weeks.
The Deaf Hearing Connection Club proposed for its annual Deaf Awareness Day, designed to “raise awareness of deafness and American Sign Language with the student body. (Specifically), students will have the opportunity to communicate with members of the deaf community… and also have the opportunity to learn about interpreting and audiology, and other professions in the related field,” according to the request form the club presented.
The event will also feature appearances by deaf illusionist Sam Sandler and deaf model and actress Stephanie Nogueras.
The board unanimously voted to fully fund the event in the amount of $3,500 to cover the appearance fees of Sandler and Nogueras. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 6, with events held throughout the day in various locations around campus.
The Environmental Club then proposed its Engage! workshop, which “intend(s) to bring together (College) faculty, students, staff and the public at large to educate (them) about activism (by presenting) student activists who will lead discussions on their activities in movements for change in the United States,” according to the request form. In all, the club was requesting $500.
The board acknowledged that the event would be beneficial to the campus community and would receive funding under normal circumstances, however, Engage! was planned by the Cultural and Intellectual Community Program Council — the Environmental Club’s only contribution toward the event was to request Student Activity Fee (SAF) funding.
As stated by SFB Executive Director Brandon Klein, “We want to make sure that the money goes to students for students. We can’t be covering a department’s budget shortfalls.”
Consequently, a motion to zero fund the event passed.
The Indian Student Association (ISA) then requested funding for ISA Bollywood Night 2016. This event “will showcase the multi-faceted culture of India. From the traditional Punjabi food being served to the performances put on by (the College’s) classical dance team, TCNJ Jiva, Bollywood Night will expose students to various aspects of Indian culture,” according to the request form.
Concerns were raised over the planned date of the event, Saturday, March 26, which falls during Easter weekend, but ISA had already been aware of the potential conflict and was not concerned about it potentially detracting from the attendance. The necessity of the proposed $500 disc jockey (DJ) and $800 chocolate fountain was debated and ultimately, a motion to table the fountain and DJ but fund the rest of the proposal passed.
In total, $2,255 was granted to pay for expenses, including refreshments, decorations and a photobooth. The event will take place on Saturday, March 26, from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. in room 212 of the Education Building.
The College Union Board (CUB) requested funding for its annual Spring Lecture. The event strives to “appeal to different types of students by sticking to the traditional, but successful and popular, topic of discussion that the TCNJ community has expressed interest in,” according to the Special Appropriations Request form.
Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson and actor Wilmer Valderrama each requested $30,000. "Broad City" actresses Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson each requested $25,000, as did CUB’s other choices for a guest lecturer — singer Todrick Hall, “Parks and Recreation” actor Ben Schwartz, “Community” actor Danny Pudi and social media star Matt Bellassai.
A motion to cap the funding for an appearance fee at $25,000 passed, which meant that CUB will only receive $25,000 even if Johnson or Valderrama are booked for the lecture. Furthermore, the motion included a stipulation that if the lecture is in Mayo Hall, a second lecture following the first lecture from the same speaker will be considered to compensate for Mayo’s smaller seating capacity. In all, the board granted $26,302 to CUB for both speaker and building fees.
The event will be held on an undetermined weekday evening in either Mayo or Kendall Hall, based on availability, at 8 p.m.
The Asian American Association (AAA) proposed Mystique of the East 2016, co-sponsored by Taiko, Barkada, Chinese Student Association, Korean Student Association, Jiva, Saathiya and ISA.
According to the club’s Multicultural Request form, “Mystique will feature performances that have origins rooted in various Asian countries, such as China, Japan, India, the Philippines and Korea.”
These performances, in the format of a fashion show, will allow all students to “be taught about traditions that may be similar to their own, or be exposed to something completely different from what they know.”
Funding in the amount of $4,193 to cover the Kendall Hall booking fee and AAA’s portion of the fashion show, was granted. However, the rest of the requested funding, including funds for the costumes and music for the event’s co-sponsors, was tabled, as these organizations were not present to discuss their requests in greater detail.
The event will take place on Saturday, April 23, in Kendall Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the event starts at 8 p.m.
Friendship and Unity for Special Education (FUSE) proposed “‘Oh, You Needed Me to Pay Attention?’ Classroom Perspective from a Deceptively Remarkable Student,” an appearance by guest speaker David Finch, after the event was tabled in last week’s meeting due to FUSE’s lack of involvement in the planning of the event.
Finch, the author of “The Journal of Best Practices,” a New York Times bestseller, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as an adult in 2008. The event is designed to allow “education majors, professors or people interested in working with students with disabilities to hear from an adult diagnosed with Asperger’s about his experiences in the classroom,” according to the request form.
Deciding that FUSE had shown enough influence in planning the event, the event received full funding in the amount of $4,520, to cover Finch’s appearance fee. The event will take place in room 115 of the Education Building on Wednesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m.
Union Latina proposed the Presidential Election Informative event, co-sponsored by the Republican Club to represent Republican candidates and Student Government to represent Democratic candidates.
According to the request form, “the purpose of this event is to educate the TCNJ campus on the importance of voting, introduce important issues and the presidential candidates in this upcoming presidential election, (including) a 15-minute introduction by (history Professor Christopher Fisher) regarding the important issues and topics of this presidential race. (That will be followed by the) Democrats and Republicans each (giving) a 15-minute presentation on their parties’ candidates and where they stand on specific issues.”
A motion to table the event passed on the grounds that Student Government is a co-sponsor and will likely agree to provide its own funding — thus rendering the $117 of SAF funding unnecessary.
The final order of business was The Mixed Signals’s Rather Outrageous Comedy Kickout, an event that was tabled in last week’s meeting because The Mixed Signals had not submitted the necessary paperwork to be recognized by the board. Having submitted this paperwork, the organization was recognized and permitted to present a proposal for its own event.
The event will “provide a free comedy event for the student body and local community through which they will be able to watch alumni improv troupes as well as improvisational comedy on a professional level,” according to the request form.
In addition to the performance, “a (one) hour workshop will be provided by the professional troupe, UCB TourCo, so that anyone interested may try their hand at improv comedy,” according to the form.
The board’s motion to fully fund the event was unanimously passed, and the requested $4,350, which will cover TourCo’s appearance fee and Mayo Concert Hall fees, was granted.
The event will be held on Saturday, April 2, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Mayo Concert Hall.
*Even though SFB agrees to finance certain events, there is no guarantee these events will take place. The approval only makes the funds available.