By Steven Jackson
Beloit Student Congress was absolutely ajitter with activity this Monday, as students turned up in droves presumably for review and amendment of the budget. During announcements, Ben Schechter ‘11 told students about the Phi Psi party this Saturday, which will feature up-and-coming electro trio Stepdad; entry is $1 or a non-perishable food item. Jim McQuaid’11 informed students of the upcoming debate for BSC treasurer candidates. Since only one candidate is running, the debate promises to be about as interesting as the announcement portion of BSC Monday meetings.
In committee reports, Funding Board Director and Chair Xenofon Kontouris’14 shocked the world. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have no more money!” he announced with relish. Both on- and off-campus funds are now drained and BelFAST “will not meet again for a long, long time.” In lighter news, Residential Life Committee Chair Ben Schechter’11 announced that the committee would meet Wednesday to finalize housing plans for the upcoming academic year. Those attending the meeting were advised by Schechter to “bring an energy drink, because we’re serious, we’re gonna get stuff done. Not even frontin’.” [He wasn’t frontin’. Stuff was done. Ask a friend for details.] Student Policy Committee brushed up the college’s official definition of drunkenness, adding fancy descriptors such as “unconscious” and “pugnacious.”
Speaking of alcohol, the first item in student forum was a talk by Bruce Heine, security director. Not surprisingly, the first issue for discussion was alcohol. Heine warned students about the dangers of alcohol use–both for health and for campus privileges. “[Alcohol poisoning] is way too common. We’re going to lose somebody,” he said. “You guys are getting closer and closer to losing the alcohol policy.” Heine also discussed campus issues such as vandalism, theft, sexual assault, and fire alarms (“good gravy!” he exclaimed, shocked at the prevalence of careless campus cookery). Heine ended his discussion by urging students to be proactive and set standards for their peers’ behavior. “You guys are good people and you deserve better, so take control of your society,” he said.
Next up in student forum was a presentation from Beloit Solidarity, a student group formed in response to the recent statewide unrest over Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill. The group told their story, explained their prolonged occupation of the Science Center, and outlined their activities and goals as an organization. Although the budget bill has already passed, Beloit Solidarity will continue to be active by encouraging student involvement in local and regional politics. The group is raising awareness of the upcoming elections on April 5, in which positions for city council, school board and Supreme Court will be decided. Early voting shuttles are available at the Wall every weekday at 4 p.m.
We had a short break this week, a terrifying harbinger of the lengthy list of business items ahead. Body Wrap was pretty inconsequential (though it did include a shout-out to Kyle Schwab’13 and his maroon mohawk).
The first order of business was making amendments to the budget for the next academic year. First up was Ceramics Club, wishing to amend the proposed $550 cut in their budget, and secure funding for the continued rental of a studio and kiln space downtown. All in all, their request totalled $1,200. In making their case, the club emphasized their hard work, their current and potential contributions to the campus community, and the general wackness of not having a real ceramics department or even a ceramics studio space at Beloit College. Those opposing the amendment pointed out the disproportionate size of their budget as compared to other campus groups, and argued that there was no good source for an increase. The off-campus theater fund of Student Activities gave up its $1,000 increase to support the club, and BelFAST on-campus and off-campus budgets contributed $100 each, totaling the proposed $1,200. The amendment passed with 96% in favor.
At this point our time was nearly up, and we still had other amendments to review. Director of Student Activities Jennie Hartzheim moved to extend the meeting, but her suggestion was vehemently opposed and thwarted by a flurry of placard votes. We adjourned at a decent hour, with more budget business awaiting us next week.