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DSG approves more than $45,000 in funding

Martial arts and melodrama are both coming to campus, thanks to Duke Student Government's newly approved student organizations.

In a brief session Wednesday night, the DSG Senate approved a range of funding for student organizations and chartered two new undergraduate groups—a comedic podcasting group and a Mixed Martial Arts club. 

The Senate unanimously chartered the Duke MMA Club. Representatives from the club stressed a lack of variety in martial arts opportunities on campus and cited mixed martial arts as valuable for both self-defense and exercise. The club requested $500 for equipment and $60 to $80 for each practice, which will take place twice a week in Wilson Gym. 

The Senate also unanimously charted Freshly Squeezed Pulp, a new student group dedicated to pulp-fiction podcasting. The group will also host a series of live shows during the academic year. Freshly Squeezed Pulp will provide a comedic alternative to Hear At Duke, the University's existing podcasting student organization. 

The Senate declined a request from first-year Vignesh Alagappan, senator for academic affairs, to hold an anonymous vote on chartering Freshly Squeezed Pulp.

The Senate approved $5,175 in funding for the Asian Students Association's annual Lunar New Year talent showcase, which is expected to draw around 1,000 undergraduates to Page Auditorium. The TEDxDuke Conference was funded $9,625 to host its annual program, expected to bring around 400 attendees to Reynolds Industries Theater. 

The Senate also funded Delta Sigma Theta $16,089.20 for its annual charity gala, with an expectation of 150 undergraduate attendees. The gala will be hosted at the JB Duke and the group will provide Lyft codes to students for transportation to the event.

Duke Conservation Tech was funded $10,007.50 to host "Blueprint: Oceans + Innovation," a conference dedicated to address challenges to ocean conservation. Duke Conservation Tech has already secured $19,000 in funding from other sources, including National Geographic.

Duke American Sign Language received a fund $2,000 to host a second set of eight-week long lessons in American Sign Language. The club already hosts one set of lessons for members of the group.

The Senate also passed $2,332.00 in funding for duARTS to host a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Rubenstein Arts Center. duARTS estimated that the event will draw 200 attendees. 

In other business

The Senate confirmed first-year John Markis, who is also a staff reporter for The Chronicle, as the new DSG Attorney General. Markis said that he would encourage growing social media aspects of Duke elections. 

The Senate heard a first reading of an amendment to the Student Organizational Finance Committee's bylaws that would ban SOFC from funding activities not targeted to current Duke undergraduates with the Programming Fund. 

Correction: The headline of this article was updated to remove a misstatement that it was DSG's first meeting of the semester.