Clark University Student Council (CUSC) held their weekly meeting on Thursday, March 30. At 6:10 p.m., quorum had not yet been reached.
Adam Katzman (‘18) said agenda items that do not require quorum would be discussed in the meantime.
President Andres Gvirtz (‘18), who was video-called in for the meeting, began to present some ideas he wanted to propose to CUSC. He identified a need for a way to incorporate the perspectives of multiple different CUSC committees as well as the perspectives of the student body into projects. He also highlighted The Grind renovation project as an example of where this would be useful.
“This isn’t just an e-board thing, we’d really like to get the entire student body involved,” said Katzman. He proposed reaching out to student clubs and organizations that use The Grind to form a committee to decide how to best use the space.
Gvirtz went on to highlight the issues of the student body not knowing what CUSC does, as well as the student body not having much interest in CUSC. He proposed putting together an ad hoc committee to compile documentation of successful CUSC initiatives, and doing so in an appealing way so that this information is accessible as well as attractive to both CUSC members and the student body.
Katzman then proposed discussing grants, even though they could not be voted on without quorum. Arslan Tarar (‘18) made the point that a grant to be discussed that meeting was urgent, as the request was submitted on March 8 and was not voted on. The student is running out of time before the funding is needed.
Quorum was reached at 6:51 p.m. through a phone call to an absent member, and new members were sworn in and assigned to committees. Once they were sworn in, there were enough members in the room to vote on grants.
All grants passed, and the meeting moved on to miscellaneous points to be discussed.
Laura Barker (‘17) pointed out that it took an hour to reach quorum, and stated that this was “unacceptable.”
Both Katzman and Tarar stated that it is “embarrassing” when the meeting takes so long to begin, especially when students come to present grants and are forced to wait.
“Think about your role in council and think about how when you’re not here, you’re letting people down,” said Eric Barrese (‘19).
Yousra Benchekroun (‘17) requested $1,594.56 to cover a program in Haiti focused on developing disaster management strategies. She has three flights to be covered. The grant was reduced from $1500 to $340 due to grant classifications within CUSC bylaws.
The Clark University chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) requested $500 to cover the costs of purchasing copies of the “ABC’s of Socialism.” DSA is in the process of forming, and these books will be used as both advertising and educational tools for new members. CUSC approved $175 to purchase 25 books.
Ashleigh Nongogo (‘19) and Sara Vera-Cruz (‘20) applied for $186 each to attend the Yale Undergraduate Association for African Peace and Development’s annual African Development Conference as members of CASA. Multiple CASA members submitted grants for the same conference, and Grants Committee decided that all the funding for this conference would be put into CASA’s budget for logistical reasons.
Oyut Amarjargal (‘17) presented a grant to attend a week-long conference in Boston. She received partial funding from the Geography Department and applied for $120 to cover the rest of her expenses.
Ishan Chatterjee (‘17) requested $420 to cover hotel costs for a conference in Miami. $340 were allocated.
All grants were passed.