Although approximately one-third of its members were absent, Duke Student Government Senate carried on business as usual, chartering two new student groups and approving funds for existing groups.

DSG Senate approved $19,918.93 in funding for five student groups. The Senate also chartered two new groups, the Duke Arab Student Association and Duke After-School Programs Involving Recreational Enrichment, or ASPIRE, program. 

Duke ASPIRE will partner Duke students with local elementary school students for a 15-week curriculum focusing on mentorship and sports. DSG had previously recognized the group, but Duke ASPIRE was seeking to be chartered, which will grant it access to the DSG annual budget. 

The Duke Arab Student Association—which was the second newly chartered group—will focus on raising awareness about cultural and humanitarian issues in the Arab world. The group will also provide resources for Duke students to explore Arab culture. 

The Senate unanimously approved $3,275 for the Jewish Student Union to host a celebration for students completing B'nai Mitzvah services on Feb. 27. The Jewish Student Union is receiving the majority of their overall funding from other sources, including Jewish Life at Duke and the Duke Cultural Engagement Fund. 

The Senate also approved $1,710 in funding for a speaker event hosted by the Duke Catholic Center, which is expected to draw around 75 undergraduates to Perkins Library. 

The Senate funded Neurocare with $7,133.93 to host a speaker event featuring social media personality Demetrius Harmon. Neurocare is a student group dedicated to raising awareness about neurological and psychological disorders and advocating for research on those disorders. The group estimated that the event will draw 150 to 200 undergraduate attendees. 

The Senate provided Sabrosura—a Latin dance group on campus—with $2,850 to host its annual showcase of Latin culture and heritage. The funding will go toward renting Page Auditorium, which will host the estimated 250 undergraduate attendees.

The Singapore Students Association received $4,950 in funding to host its annual Lunar New Year Festival celebration. The Singapore Students Association is partnering with 11 other student groups and the Duke Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies to host the festival. The event is expected to draw 600 undergraduates. 

In other business

The Senate allocated $50 from the Legislative Discretionary Fund to the Duke University Information Technology Advisory Council to purchase gift cards. The gift cards will be distributed to students who responded to the 2018 Undergraduate Information Technology Survey. 

The Senate unanimously approved an amendment to the Student Organizational Finance Committee's bylaws that would ban SOFC from using the Programming Fund to fund activities not targeted to current Duke undergraduates.

Senators confirmed junior Curtis Scarpignato as a legislative assistant to President Pro Tempore Avery Boltwood, who is also a junior. 

"I want to help [Boltwood] increase the transparency of Duke Student Government," Scarpignato said.