A.S. senators discuss funds for clubs and organizations after an impromptu yoga lesson

Adria Brodie

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A.S. senators started off their weekly meeting at the Grand Salon in the University Student Union, with yoga exercises. Paul Kingsley/ Photo Editor

A special presentation of chair yoga provided Associated Students (A.S.) with an opportunity to relax before getting down to business during the open forum of the Senate meeting on Tuesday.

Brittny McCarthy, director of Government and Community Relations of University Advancement, gave an impromptu chair yoga lesson.

McCarthy said in addition to her role as liaison between the CSU legislative office and local elected officials, she teaches Yoga Wednesdays from noon until 2:30 p.m. in Redwood Hall to faculty and staff.

“I want to introduce myself to A.S. because I work with Conor, and as student government leaders they can use me as an additional resource,” McCarthy said. “After I finished, I thought ‘why not teach them yoga’.”

With puzzled looks on their faces and a huge grin from A.S. President Conor Lansdale, senate members and A.S. staff participated in breathing exercises, arm and backstretches.

“I was a little skeptical at first, but it actually relaxed me” said Attorney General Alex Samovitz.

After two minutes of twisting and turning in the chair, McCarthy had the entire room stand up and bend over to stretch their back muscles.

“I know it is kind of strange doing yoga with someone you work with, but I hope they got something out of it,” McCarthy said.

Jonathan Polus, senator of  the college of humanities, had never done yoga before, but said it was exciting.

With stretched muscles and relaxed faces, the A.S. members and staff continued the meeting with business as usual.

The main discussion of Senate members was the amount of funding for clubs and organizations already given two weeks into the semester and how much will be left throughout the semester.

Amanda Flavin, senator of the college of business and economics, appointed to the finance committee during the meeting, voiced her concern about using most of the budget for clubs and organizations in the beginning of the school year.

“If we spend it all now, we will not have any money for the remainder of the year,” Flavin said.

Flavin said she wants A.S. to mirror the university’s budget concerns and fund clubs appropriately.

“I want A.S. to be conservative about our funding,” Flavin said. “I am deeply concerned where the money goes and comes from.”

Polus said he agreed with Flavin and suggested A.S. act responsibly when deciding to approve financial recommendations.

“We spent half of our budget in one meeting,” Polus said. “I want to put a halt to this and really think this through.”

During the meeting, Director of Finance Vahan Khodanian confirmed the A.S. budget for funding clubs and organizations as $26,325.

Polus said he wants A.S. to wait until after the fourth week of school when a final freshmen headcount is confirmed to get a better understanding of the actual numbers.

“Of the $80 freshmen student fees, we get $40 to put in our (budget),” Polus said.

As the meeting continued and concerns subsided, a speaker in the audience addressed the Senate with a budget solution for multiple clubs requesting money for the same event.

“A.S. should create a fund for specific events which will force clubs to work together and use one budget,” said Ankur Patel, 25, L.A. Clean Sweep outreach coordinator.

Patel said two clubs collaborating on the same event should not submit separate requests because it confuses the funding process.

“As a simple example, you don’t need two clubs buying cups for the same event,” Patel said.

With the meeting coming to a close, the senate approved the finance recommendations from clubs and organization on this week’s agenda.

Amounts ranged from $800 to $2,500 for four separate requests.

Polus added after the meeting that he believed the senate would be frugal in the upcoming weeks.