Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 8, 2022

SGA discusses budgets for Culture Fest and annual Sophomore Garden Party

By YANA MULANI | November 13, 2022

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COURTESY OF YANA MULANI

Senate members shifted monetary allocations for Culture Fest to reduce budget and have greater impact. 

The Student Government Association (SGA) held its weekly general body meeting on Nov. 8 to confirm a Senior Class Senator, nominate members for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) Curriculum Committee and discuss the Culture Fest Funding Bill and Garden Party Funding Bill.

Senior Senator confirmation

Senior Class President JiWon Woo presented senior Ayisat Adegbindin as the senior council’s unanimous nominee for the open position.

  • An email was sent out to the senior class with four free response questions. Woo said Adegbindin submitted thorough answers and had previously shown interest in SGA.
  • Adegbindin was unanimously appointed as a Senior Class Senator. 

KSAS Curriculum Committee nominations

Executive Vice President Kobi Khong explained that the KSAS Curriculum Committee is composed of four students nominated by SGA and four faculty members to help approve or deny new majors or minors and changes to current majors or minors. Khong presented four nominees: Sophomore Class Senator Nasreen Naqvi, Junior Class Senator Shalala Leny, freshman Vanessa Han from outside SGA and Khong himself.

  • Naqvi said she has found various things within the majors that can be worked on.
  • Leny explained that she joined academic affairs because she wants to “change how the school works for the better, for the students and for us to learn more effectively.”
  • Sophomore Class Senator Jackson Morris brought up the possibility of a Disabilities Studies minor. “It would hopefully facilitate the recruitment of individuals who have disabilities who might otherwise be passed over by the University,” he said.
  • Khong clarified that the committee itself does not propose new majors but that the Shared Governance Council has released guidelines on how to do so as a student.
  • A motion to vote was called, and the nominations were approved unanimously. 

Culture Fest Funding Bill

Culture Fest is an annual event organized by the Multicultural Leadership Council (MLC) in collaboration with the Inter-Asian Council (IAC) and the Black Student Union (BSU). Sophomore Class President Ryan Chou presented the bill to ask the senate to commit $2,150, with the MLC and the Hopkins Organization for Programming (HOP) funding the rest. 

  • Chou clarified that $1,000 would be spent on a sweater raffle. 
  • Executive President Breanna Soldatelli suggested charging $5 for entry to offset costs, but Khong responded that “since the event is specifically targeted towards minorities and people of color, it felt a little wrong to charge them.”
  • Khong also said sweaters would be given to around 15 organizers. 
  • Sophomore Class Senator Dalhart Dobbs commented that SGA funding cannot be used to buy personal attire, and shouldn’t be used to give sweaters to organizers.
  • Morris agreed, saying contributing the money towards the raffle would be better.
  • SGA Advisor Rebecca Walsh advised the senate to consider how few traditions and campus events exist at Hopkins, as well as the importance of events like Culture Fest to a sense of belonging on campus. “This has the potential to be a major fall tradition,” she said.
  • Junior Senator Jenny Chen said she would be okay with spending the money if it could be shifted to other parts of the event, like food. 
  • Morris proposed adding $500 to the culture group booth grant, noting “that would be a more fruitful way to spend our money.”
  • Woo called a motion to adjust possible SGA funding to $2,000 on four conditions: $900 goes towards group grants; $100 goes towards SGA caucus tabling; SGA does not contribute to sweaters; the event is co-branded with MLC and SGA.
  • The bill passed unanimously.

Garden Party Funding Bill

Chou presented the Garden Party Funding Bill to request funding from the senate for this year’s sophomore garden party.

  • The same package and services offered by Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen last year have increased in cost by approximately $4,500.
  • Chou clarified that the sophomore class budget for the year is $17,000–18,000 and the budget for this event is $15,000.
  • Woo suggested that the class council look at different venues, as Gertrude’s may be up-charging. 
  • Junior Class Senator Ireland Parrish agreed, saying that last year’s sophomore class council did not have any money left after this event and had to hold small events for the rest of the year that did not go as well. 
  • “SGA funding should go towards things that benefit the whole community and not just one class council. Not going entirely broke is more important than one tradition,” Soldatelli said.
  • Dobbs sealed clarification regarding the stipulations of funding towards traditions. 
  • Soldatelli clarified that the money is only for the tradition to occur, not necessarily at the same location. Chou said this is the first he had heard of being able to switch to a different venue, and Soldatelli apologised for any miscommunication. 
  • The majority of SGA did not vote in favor of the bill, and the bill did not pass.
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