Appeal Sparks Bylaw Discussion

Senate voted on legislation concerning the conference line budget at their last general meeting.
Senate voted on legislation concerning the conference line budget at their last general meeting.

The 51st student senate heard an appeal, confirmed a nomination on an academic committee and revised bylaws at their eighth general meeting on Tuesday, April 6.

After describing her experience working on financial matters throughout high school, first-year communication disorders major Allison Snyder was approved to a position on the Budget Goals and Plans Committee with a 14 to zero vote and one senator abstaining.

Snyder said she would need to do more research on the budget deficit affecting New Paltz, but that she wasn’t against learning more about it. The legislative body commended her enthusiasm. Sen. Joseph Nofi said that when first year students want to get involved, “it’s a good sign.”

The legislative body also heard an appeal from the Fabulous and Beautiful (FAB) club. FAB members wanted to attend a makeup artist conference, the International Makeup Artist Trade Show, in New York City this Sunday. They originally conceived a budget for 15 people, but the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) only approved them $140 for the conference admission. They made the appeal and said it would be a great opportunity with chances to network and speak with “established professionals.”

They reduced the number of people to eight and set up three transportation options: option one would be $596, option two would be $560 and option three would be $298 based on Trailways of New York and New York City Subway figures.

Vice President of Finance Youssouf Kuoyo said it came down to approving four more people out of eight. The legislative body voted and approved option one by 10 to two with three senators abstaining.

This sparked a lengthy by-law discussion. Sen. Samantha Kossin wrote legislation to amend the conference line. She broke it up into Tier one, those that present, and Tier two, those that just attend. The legislation is a work in progress and must be referred to on a case-by-case basis.

The issues that the legislative body encountered were those of checks and balances between BFC and Student Association (SA), and carefully delineating duties between each. Director of Student Activities & Union Services Michael Patterson advised the senators to not make senate just about hearing conference line appeals and to go forward carefully.

The legislative body voted on bylaws as they stand 12 to one with one senator abstaining. In addition, the senate raised the maximum amount of funding one can receive. In tier 1 it was decided $400 to $600 and for tier two, $300 to $400.

Sen. Ayanna Thomas reported to the legislative body from Academic Senate their proposal to move spring break to a later point in March. She also announced that Academic Senate is working on Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) forms going online to save the college over $30,000, making a B- the grade that allows a student to repeat a class and a time frame for switching S/U to A/F grading options.

The next general meeting of the student senate will take place on Tuesday, April 12 in Student Union 418.