A resolution to improve fundraising and alumni awareness for the Africana Studies and Research Center dominated last night’s Student Assembly meeting.
Students and faculty have voiced complaints about the deterioration of the center’s building and its lack of funding for programs, according to S.A. President Uzo Asonye ’02. The assembly discussed endowing and exploring fundraising options in order to upgrade the Africana Studies program.
“It is a great opportunity for the S.A. to collaborate with the efforts of students,” Asonye said.
Student groups, including Black Students United and the United Progressives, asked for S.A. support in addressing the Center’s needs and obtaining funds from alumni, Asonye said.
Cornell’s College and Unit Giving Opportunity List catalogues all of the University’s colleges, as well as individual college programs, to make alumni aware of different donation options. Currently, the Africana Studies Center, which is its own unit and reports directly to the provost, is not a part of this list, he said.
The resolution seeks to add the center to the giving opportunity list and also recommends that the University include it as a funding priority, similar to the status of Duffield Hall and undergraduate scholarships. It also recommends that the Africana center be provided with a list of alumni who participated in its programs to allow more efficient solicitation of donations.
The assembly then considered a resolution to restructure the Student Activities Fee’s allocation process. The resolution proposed limiting the percentage increase of the SAF, based on a calculation of twice the rate of inflation and the number of new groups requesting by-line funding, Asonye said.
However, the assembly voted against this resolution.
Assembly member James Lamb Jr. ’03 also proposed a resolution recommending that the S.A.’s executive board change the names of its officers.
“[The recommendation] was [presented] just for comments, but a member motioned to vote on it because people had already made up their minds [on the issue],” Asonye said. The Assembly proceeded to vote against the resolution, and Lamb, who has been known to lose his temper in the past, reacted against their decision, according to Michael Bronstein ’02, S.A. vice president of public relations.
“Then there was a mild disturbance and James threw a table over, but no one really thought anything of it,” Bronstein said.
“I cannot control members of the Assembly and [Lamb’s reaction] came out of nowhere,” Asonye said. “Ninety-nine percent of [the meeting] was a productive discussion. At the end of the meeting James couldn’t handle his cool, he threw over a table and left.”
Lamb would not comment on the incident.
Archived article by Christen Aragoni