Alex Enayat and Dorothy England
The Keene State College student assembly met Tuesday when they considered providing funding to the KSC dance team and unanimously voted on supporting proposed clubs and organizations.
One of the more lengthy presentations was from the KSC dance team, which asked for $2,700 to go to a national competition. Victoria Smolenski, manager for the team, said that this experience would be good for KSC’s reputation not only nationally, but internationally as well. “Last year we got to meet a group from Japan. It is aired on ESPN too, so people could see us and see Keene State in a good manner,” Smolenski said.
The group said they have various fundraising events planned, including bake sales, a Bruins raffle, a Thanksgiving pie sale and a GoFundMe account they’ve shared with friends on social media.
Senior Captain Courtney Capone said they really need the money for uniforms and plane tickets to Florida where the competition is held and that it’s difficult to get it all from fundraising.
“As college students we are limited to who we can ask for money,” Capone said.
Members of the Student Assembly deliberated the issue. Member Bethany Peterson asked why they didn’t want to go to regionals instead and save money that way. “I’m paying $400 for alternative spring break and I’m driving to Kentucky,” Peterson said.
Student Assembly member Robert Graham said the dance team should look at what money might have been rolled over from the previous semester, and that the Student Assembly should help the rest of the way. “I don’t think it would be totally ridiculous for Student Assembly to give some small amount of money…just to ensure that the girls can go,” he said.
In the end, the student assembly asked the group to check with finances for that potential roll-over and get back to them at the next meeting.
The assembly did vote in $5,750.65 for their student government Pumpkin Lobotomy this coming Sunday. Members of the group were also asked to help.
One member of Student Assembly Marissa DePolo said, “One good thing that we are doing to reduce the costs is instead of hiring Sodexo workers to work the entire time, we’re going to have all of us on the committee and a bunch of you guys working as well.”
Another group that wants to help advise students is Democracy Matters.
KSC juniors Sydney Little and Joseph Barbesco, both from Democracy Matters, said they want to get students involved and have their voices heard. Barbesco said, “Democracy Matters is a non-profit organization recognized throughout America…as far as for us, we want to start a chapter at Keene State…and we want to take big money out of politics.”
Little said, “We [want to] make people aware on campus; we [want to] get politicians to sign our petition to get reform.”
Barbesco said they’ve even got Bernie Sanders’s signature on the petition.
Democracy Matters was unanimously voted in as an official club.
Another politically affiliated request was made by KSC student Kaitlyn Kelly for a democratic group on campus. She said the group already has an advisor and student interest. “[Political Science Professor] Mike Welsh has agreed to be the advisor,” she said.
Kelly said she finds it strange that we don’t already have a Democratic group on campus. “It’s kind of crazy that we have KSC Republicans [group], but not Democratic [group] and [we’re] a liberal arts school in New Hampshire,” she said.
The vote to create the group was unanimous.
In addition, student organizations came prepared to ask for funds from the Student Assembly. One of these groups was the Barbell Club, which came asking to move $1000 from their equipment budget (currently $1500) to professional services. This would then allow both the president and vice president of the Barbell Club to receive CrossFit training so they could effectively teach other members of the club.
Their request was granted and voted in unanimously.
Student Assembly member Laura Graham mentioned Red and White Night, which will be held November 20. She also asked for volunteers, especially first-years, to help out. “You guys will have this eventually and it’s really fun, you get to dress up, and there’s a lot of free food,” she said.