Council Chair Rose Faber opened up the penultimate Council of Organizations meeting on Monday, April 15.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Jonathan Espinosa reminded the organizations that senate elections are running April 30 through May 2 on my.newpaltz.edu.
The two main topics discussed in the E-board reports were the new option of truly gender-neutral housing as well as police involvement in student affairs.
Espinosa spoke enthusiastically of the new gender-neutral housing that will be available in Bevier Hall. He stressed the need for such housing on a permanent basis and hopes the administration will move forward with additional gender-neutral housing in the future.
SA Executive Vice President Manuel Tejada said he is working on a student survey about drug use and drug policy. The survey will be distributed through email either next fall or spring.
Tejada also spoke of police involvement on campus, including an increased police presence. He said police have been very vigilant, but students have become wary of their presence in residence halls at night and have questioned their rights to privacy.
“Things are changing, and maybe they don’t really see that,” Tejada said. “I spoke with the chief. He’d ask something, I’d ask something – we’re educating each other.”
One member of the LARP Club discussed police harassment during which the club’s members were spoken to and were not allowed to leave the emergency access road in front of Old Main.
It was announced that the budget for general programming was almost depleted.
Student Senator Mary Bacorn said she passed legislation to work toward the departmental status of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Bacorn brought the legislation to the Academic Affairs Committee, which she is a part of, and stressed bringing it to faculty.
“If faculty and students are behind it, how can they say no?” Bacorn said. “If they do, we’ll fight back. Every faculty member is affected.”
The last affair to be discussed at the meeting was the election of council chair. When the first round of voting came to an exact tie, a re-vote was conducted and Matt LaSpada won with a close majority.
The remainder of the E-board candidates and senators will campaign at the next meeting on April 29 at 7 p.m. in SU 62/63.