Christian Curriculum

Key takeaways from this week’s SGA Senate | New

The Student Government Association (SGA) Senate Passed JMU Anime Club’s Provident Fund Request, Denied InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Provident Fund Request, and Passed American Sign Language Bill (ASL) to be included in the JMU program at Tuesday’s meeting.

The Senate votes provident fund

The Senate voted to deny InterVarsity Christian Fellowship — an on-campus Christian organization — a $3,000 provident fund for the organization’s annual chapter — an annual event hosted by Virginia InterVarsity that trains recruiters, leadership teams and members.

Cory Longenecker, President of InterVarsity, said InterVarsity’s mission statement is to “have a positive impact on the world around them.” The organization has no membership fees, he said, and has about 400 members who regularly attend meetings.

According to a presentation by Longenecker, InterVarsity raises funds throughout the year, including t-shirt sales, mission auctions, and winter and spring ceremonies. Longenecker said the money from the T-shirt sales and ceremonies goes directly to subsidizing the organization’s freshmen, leaders and executive pensions, while the money from the auction of the mission goes to the organization’s spring break trips.

Longenecker said that since 2019 — with the exception of 2020 due to the cancellation of events during the pandemic — applications for funds from InterVarsity have always been approved.

The debate began with members of the Senate discussing the organization’s success, but junior Matt Haynicz, an SGA representative, objected.

“Where does that money go directly – that’s where I have a problem,” Haynicz said. “It is subjectively distributed by their discretion to those in need. Usually that would be OK, but leadership positions are based on a statement of faith that limits the opening of that position to any JMU student.

Haynicz said if there was more of a “framework” indicating exactly where the money would go, he would feel more comfortable approving the request.

Sophomore Finance Liaison Mahek Shroff agreed with Haynicz that if she knew more about where the money was going, she would be more willing to approve the request.

SGA Sen. Junior Parker Boggs noted that InterVarsity has already received emergency funding for this camp.

“They’re a well-respected organization on campus,” Boggs said. “Since [the Chapter Camp funds] have been approved in the past, I think this is something we can embrace as there has been no wrongdoing that we know of.

Shroff said this year the SGA Senate has been handing out money at a faster rate than last year, but junior Marlena Kozlowski, president of university services, said the Senate couldn’t compare the spending this year than last year due to larger events now because of relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.

“It is important to realize that coming back in person [learning] means things are going to be more expensive,” Kozlowski said.

Haynicz clarified in the Senate that he is not “criticizing” InterVarsity for the way it selects its leaders, but rather that he takes issue with the fact that leaders choose who gets the money. Haynicz said if the organization created a list of people who needed money before requesting funds, he would be more willing to approve the request.

Senior Hill Yauger, communications secretary, said he understands the hesitation that a statement of faith as a qualifier for leadership can bring, but that’s the norm for faith-based organizations like InterVarsity.

The 20-minute debate ended with InterVarsity’s request being denied – 18 senators voted against approving the funds, while 13 members voted in favor of the motion. Junior Tara Snowden, SGA parliamentarian, told Wilcox and Longenecker to “rework” their presentation before reconnecting with the SGA finance committee.

On the other hand, the Senate voted unanimously to grant the Anime Club – an on-campus organization whose mission is to bring Japanese anime fans together – a contingency fund of $2,100.

Contingency funds come from a pool of up to $3,000 per student organization to be used for conferences and events.

The funds will go to Katsucon, an annual three-day convention held in National Harbor, Maryland that celebrates Japanese culture through anime and cosplay.

Senior Peder Schroeder, Anime Cub Treasurer; junior Reilly Vance, secretary; and junior Benny Kicks, vice president, presented to the Senate on behalf of the club. According to the presentation, the Anime Club currently has 43 members. The total cost for Anime Club to attend Katsucon will be $3,300 – $2,100 in conference fees and $1,200 in hotel fees. Schroeder said the organization could cover the $1,200 hotel costs itself due to its successful fundraising over the years, but needed funds to supplement the rest of the costs.

“I think this is a great opportunity to learn more about Anime Club,” Junior President Abigail Canella said during the debate.

After a unanimous consent motion, Tara Snowden passed Anime Club’s request.

The Senate passes American Statement of opinion in sign language

The Senate unanimously approved the American Sign Language (ASL) Opinion Bill, which pushes to expand the ASL curriculum at JMU, allowing it to count as a foreign language credit toward a bachelor’s degree. of Arts in an “effort to work towards a more inclusive and culturally diverse campus that effectively supports the Deaf community and Deaf people.

The Bill of Opinion was drafted by several members of the Senate and “demands the expansion and inclusion” of ASL at JMU.

The bill mentions that other colleges, including the University of Virginia and George Mason University, offer ASL as a minor, and that the University of Mary Washington, Old Dominion University and the Radford University offers “many more ASL courses than JMU”.

Zachary Flemming, director of academic affairs, said last semester SGA had more than 1,600 student signatures and nearly 30 faculty signatures for the bill. Because it’s a new academic year, the petition for the bill had to be revived.

“I really want to push for this bill to pass this year now that we have a full year [to work on it]“, Flemming said.

Flemming said the petition for the bill had only been open for a week and had more than 300 signatures.

Contact Ashlee Thompson at [email protected] For more JMU and Harrisonburg news coverage, follow the news desk on Twitter @BreezeNewsJMU.