Council Discusses Upcoming SA Elections

On Monday, April 9, the Council of Organizations met for one of the final times for this semester.

At the beginning of the meeting, Council Chair Shayna Bentley said all students should take Student Association (SA) Executive Vice President Eve Stern’s survey on gender-neutral housing that was emailed campus-wide last week. She also said it is important for everyone in attendance to make sure they spread the word about the survey.

Following this, Bentley said the Community Outreach and Development (COD) program is canceled this semester because no forms were submitted. However, Bentley said she is hoping that next semester Rose Faber, council chair-elect, will take on this initiative.

Bentley then addressed insurance issues that have arisen due to SA-funded organizations hosting events at bars under their SA club names or similar pseudonyms. No campus organizations are allowed to do this because there is a chance someone might be injured and the school may be held liable, she said.

She said the insurance company threatened to drop SA the next time a club hosts events at a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol. If SA is uninsured, they will not be able to have any clubs or organizations on campus anymore, Bentley said.

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Ayanna Thomas announced that elections for SA are coming up shortly.  She said all elections must be done prior to the first council meeting — therefore, the positions being filled will be on the Constitution and Rules Committee (CRC), SA E-Board positions, senate and all other positions affiliated with SA.

Thomas said SA elections would start on May 7 at noon and last until midnight at May 9. All voting can be done through and a minimum of 10 percent of the student body must vote in order for the elections to be fair and counted.

She said last year 1,077 votes were cast, meaning that 18 percent of the student body voted. Thomas said not many people vote for student government and all students need to realize how important this is for their future and the future of their organizations at SUNY New Paltz.

She said she hopes this year the voting numbers are higher and she encouraged those in attendance to tell their friends and classmates to vote.

Thomas also said the SA constitution is up for review this semester and they are looking for student input.  The open days for students to review the constitution are April 21 and 22 from noon to 7 p.m. She said this would take place on the second floor of the Student Union.

The meeting ended with organizations meeting and speaking with a CRC representative about their concerns regarding campus rules and regulations, as well as any other ways they would like to change the senate constitution to better fit the needs of the campus community.

The next Council of Organizations meeting will be on April 23.