What is USG?

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) at Stony Brook University is a governing body that represents the interests and concerns of the Undergraduate Student Body at Stony Brook University. USG’s most notable function is to acknowledge, fund and regulate clubs and organizations whose membership is open to all members of the Undergraduate Student Body, and are led by members of said body. USG’s primary source of funding is the mandatory Student Activity Fee, paid by all full-time members of the Undergraduate Student Body at Stony Brook University, providing for an annual budget of approximately $3 million. In addition, USG maintains the Student Activities Board, which organizes concerts and other large-scale events on campus. Additional agencies of USG include: Elections Board, Audio/Visual Board, Events Management, Media, and Special Services Council.

Structure

Executive Branch

The primary responsibility of the Executive Council is to promote and sponsor a range of social, cultural, educational, and service programs, in the interest of the Undergraduate Student Body. In addition, the Executive Council will ensure that the Student Activity Fee is properly allocated to promote and sponsor said programs.

Legislative Branch

The primary duty of the Senate is to promulgate legislation beneficial to, and in the best interest of, Stony Brook University’s student population.  The Senate is also responsible for reviewing the operations of the 150 Clubs, Organizations, and entities acknowledged and funded by the Undergraduate Student Government and it serves to advocate on behalf of the student body.

Judicial Branch

The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over all interpretations of this Constitution, all legal issues arising of impeaching of USG members, and all matters between the Executive Council and the Senate. The Court shall have the power to review any legislation brought before it. The Supreme Court’s decision on any legislation, policy or procedure is final.

Professional Staff

Initiatives

A Brief History

Student Government has a long history at Stony Brook University. In 1959, the Student Polity Association (SPA) was established in Oyster Bay, Long Island. In 2003, the SPA was succeeded by the USG which is the current student government of Stony Brook University.

Although the Senate and Executive Council were completely restructured, the newly established USG was very similar to the decertified Polity in many ways. All Polity Agencies were carried over, and club funding remained the same. USG was located in the same office with many of the same people and employees. The Student Activities Board was left unchanged, structured much like a club with a general body, and a fraction of the size it was decades ago when Stony Brook was known as a frequent concert venue.

Recent years have brought various plans to reform the USG, motivated by the state of the Constitution and other documentation left over from Polity days. In many cases, documents had been left unchanged except for the replacement of “Polity” with “USG”.

The culmination of the reform years was the 2010-2011 Academic year. In this year, the reformed Student Activities Board led the way in Event Programming, hosting popular artists, comedians and lectures to sellout crowds. The historic Stony Brook Concert Series was revitalized under the direction of Student Programming Agency. The Agency coordinated and marketed the new series that featured surf-rock band Best Coast, comedian Aziz Ansari, underground hip hop artist Immortal Technique, and consumer advocate Ralph Nader. The end of the year concert featured pop artists Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae and Plan B.