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Group approves funds for chemistry club’s trip

Justin Tardiff | Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Saint Mary’s Board of Governance (BOG) officers approved a $1,500 co-sponsorship for the Saint Mary’s Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SMAACS) at their meeting Monday night.

The funding will help finance the chemistry club’s spring trip to an Atlanta-based science conference, executive treasurer Jillian Waters said. The co-sponsorship had already been approved by the Student Academic Council and needed the approval of BOG.

“BOG is not the only place they are asking for money,” Waters said. “But it is probably going to be a costly trip for them.”

In addition to fundraising, the Saint Mary’s chemistry department has already agreed to pay for the group’s airline tickets. However, if BOG approves the SMAACS co-sponsorship, the department would like to be reimbursed, Waters said.

Junior class president Heidi Goeppinger questioned how sending just a few students to the conference would benefit the campus as a whole.

Residence Hall Association president Jackie Wright voiced similar concerns.

“I personally feel this is quite a bit of money if it is only going to benefit seniors and their senior compositions,” Wright said.

The Board had the opportunity to reduce the co-sponsorship by half, but chief of staff Monica Lindblom said the conference is credible and the College received a formal invitation to attend it.

Other Board members added that since chemistry is a male-dominated field, it would reflect highly on the College to send a delegation to the event.

“The least we can give them is $750,” student body president Kellye Mitros said. “Or we can give them up to $1,500.”

Health and wellness commissioner Meghan Lambourne moved to approve the $1,500 request, and the motion was approved.

In Other BOG News:

u Elections commissioner Danielle Lerner announced that campaigning for class elections begins this week. Members discussed the effectiveness of the election process, noting student apathy as a concern as well.

One of the problems mentioned by several board members was the fact that seniors, although just months away from graduation, are still allowed to vote.

Mitros commented on the lack of turnout for the “Meet the Candidate” session held in the west wing of the dining hall for each election. She suggested broadcasting the discussion over the dining hall’s public address system as they have done in recent years.

“Everyone had to listen to what they were saying, even if they weren’t in the west wing last year,” Mitros said.

The strict campaigning rules were also questioned when Lindblom noted the rules regulating where candidates can place their advertisements.

“We can have people’s 21st birthdays all over the place but we can’t have important stuff,” such as campaign ads, Lindblom said.

Lerner said changes to the election process cannot be made this year. However Mitros said student government officials could use the current elections to observe the pros and cons of the election process and make improvements for next year.