Duke Student Government Senate voted to fund the Peer Advocacy for Sexual Health Center at its meeting Wednesday.
Sophomore Riyanka Ganguly, vice president-elect for equity and outreach, presented a surplus budgetary statute for $17,252 for the PASH Center. The PASH Center will pilot in Fall 2016 and will have a permanent space in the new Student Health and Wellness Center. Fifteen trained peer educators will assist the center, and a house course, taught by Executive Vice President-elect Ilana Weisman, a junior, and Ganguly, will train 15 more peer educators. $15,000 of the statute will be allocated for sexual health products, which include products for contraceptive resources and sexual pleasure.
“The whole goal of the center is to improve communication about sexual health on our campus,” Ganguly said. "The whole idea of having this center is to have a sex-positive, nonjudgemental attitude towards sexual relations that isn’t catered to just women and sexual minorities.”
Senators who opposed the statute said that it would be inappropriate for DSG to fund sexual pleasure products and that the budget presented was not clear.
“PASH is the right thing to build on this campus, but their proposal didn’t include enough information as to where they came up with specific funding requests,” said senior Jay Sullivan, senator for equity and outreach. “I thought it was irresponsible to just give an earmark of $15,000 without actually having proper market research to determine what they actually needed, as opposed to what would be nice to have.”
Weisman explained that she, Ganguly and other people helping with the center are working to get reduced prices for certain products, which prevented them from providing explicit line item prices in the statute.
Senate also rejected Finance Oversight and Appeals Committee appeals made by Duke International Relations Association; the Muslim Student Association; Presbyterian Campus Ministries, except for an additional $147; the Duke Buddhist Community; the Duke Chess Club; the A Cappella Council; Duke Rhydun; and Duke Mock Trial—which had its appeal initially approved before it was overturned after debate.
Senate affirmed FOAC appeals made by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and the International Association.
Senate unanimously approved the Student Organization Funding Committee's allocations to the annual budgets of American Society for Microbiology, Arts Annex Advisory Board, Duke Buddhist Meditation, Asian American Alliance, Desarrolla, Duke Aviation Engineering Research Opportunities Society, DukeAfrica, Duke Asian Music Ensemble, Duke Asian Music Ensemble, Duke Campus Keepers, Duke Ballet Company, Duke Chess, Duke Consulting Club, Dance Council, Duke Rhydun, Duke Dhamaka, Duke College Republicans, Duke Ethiopian/Eritrean Student Transnational Association, Duke InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Duke Investment Club, Mock Trial, Duke Moot Court, Duke Lasya Annual Budget, Duke Red Cross, Duke Robotics Club, the Smart Home and DSG.
Senate approved SOFC’s allocation to the annual budget of Duke Democrats by majority vote. Executive Vice President John Guarco, a junior, voted against the allocation.
Senate also approved SOFC’s allocation to the annual budget of Duke College Republicans by majority vote. Senior Brian Hopkins, senate president pro tempore, and Sullivan voted against the allocation.
Senate amended SOFC’s allocations to the annual budgets of Blue Devils United and DIRA.
In other business:
Senate voted 24-13 to support a resolution to oppose the proposed Women’s Center move to East Campus. Six senators abstained. The resolution cited several reasons against the move, including the current Women's Center's proximity the Office of Student Conduct, where sexual misconduct hearings are held, and a lack of consultation with student stakeholders.
Senate voted to fund a conference hosted by Ideate for $3,500. The money will come from the surplus fund.
Senate also unanimously voted to charter two new organizations, Crossfit and Duke Club Improvisation.