Student Senate voted on three appropriations and an amendment to the bylaws in its meeting Tuesday.
Anime Club requested $1,500 from Student Senate to help cover ticket and hotel costs for their trip to Naka-Kon March 15-17 in Overland Park, Kansas.
Naka-Kon is one of the largest anime conventions in the Midwest, according to naka-kon.com, with more than 10,000 attendees in 2016. The convention centers around the industry side of anime and manga, featuring voice actors, animators, writers and directors but also celebrates the fan culture, cosplay and Japanese culture.
Anime Club President Jessie Geivett said attending the convention would not only benefit the students attending but also positively impact the University.
Geivett said it benefits students because some of the members who struggle with new social situations or large crowds get an opportunity to experience socially challenging environments in the context of one of their passions.
Attending the convention benefits the University because it advertises Northwest’s Anime Club to Midwest high schoolers, and it gives the group inspiration for Ani-Con, an anime convention hosted by Anime Club at Northwest.
“One of the things Naka-Kon gives us is more of those experiences, a lot of our members will learn information from different panels that they can use for whatever area they’re interested in,” Anime Club Librarian sophomore Joshua Smith said. “We can tie that back to Ani-Con because we do our own panels there, so that gives us ideas of what we want to do our panels on.”
Smith said the appropriation affords the group an opportunity to enrich the club and provide members new experiences.
“We are ecstatic about it and extremely thankful,” Smith said. “That’ll help our members because a lot of them are incoming freshmen with no job and their parents probably aren’t going to pay for it, so this is a dream come true for them.”
The Organizational Affairs committee recommended $750 originally, but the amount was amended twice.
After discussion, Junior Class Representative Kenyatta Johnson motioned to amend the amount to $1,000, which passed with 21 in favor and seven against.
Before the amount of $1,000 could be voted on, Student Activities Council Representative senior Drake Summers motioned to amend the amount to $1,350. With the closest vote this semester, the amendment passed 14 to 12. The appropriation of $1,350 then passed unanimously.
“I think that this is a prime example of the opportunities that Student Senate has given organizations opportunities,” Summers said. “We have the money that does come from students, but we’re just giving it back to students for potential development of the organization, so they’re working on creating a bigger and better Anime Club here at Northwest, and I just think we need to allow them the best opportunity possible.”
International Representative Samantha Mageto was the most opposed to amending the amount from $750, speaking out against it in discussion and voting “no” on both amendments.
Before the meeting, Anime Club fundraised $70 toward the trip. Mageto said she wanted to see more effort on Anime’s Club to fundraise before coming to Student Senate.
“I believe in the principle that you have to work for what you eat,” Mageto said. “The previous years that I was in Student Senate, we had been advocating that students to fundraise and then the amount of money they earned, we can match up to that.”
Student Senate appropriated $1,500 to Alternative Spring Break to assist with travel costs for their trip to South Carolina to assist with Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael relief. The appropriation passed unanimously.
The trip will cost $15,341 in total, but junior Jessica Bloustine said the group has already held several fundraising events to assist students with the cost.
Student Senate also appropriated $300 from the $1,200 leftover budget from last school year to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to furnish the Serenity Rooms when they are created in North complex. Serenity rooms will be all-inclusive worship rooms for students of minority religions who desire a private place to pray or worship.
Student Senate voted unanimously to amend its bylaws, changing Student Media Representative to a non-voting position.
Rather than streaming the meeting on Facebook Live, Student Senate live-tweeted Tuesday’s meeting and will live-tweet the next meeting Nov. 27.