Council to Make Bylaw Amendments

Council of Organizations is in the process of changing its system in minor ways, according to officials.

Council of Organizations Chair Shayna Bentley said Student Association (SA) officials are looking to make amendments in the bylaws.

“As of right now, the bylaws ask for a very specific breakdown of each meeting, a breakdown which I did not find to be effective,” she said. “The only amendment to this piece would be to add in a simple ending to the sentence, ‘Council shall be run as follows…’”

Bentley said the end of the sentence would say something along the lines of “…or at the discretion of the council chair.”

There is also some confusion over the attendance policy. Organization representatives are allowed to miss up to three meetings.

“Seeing how we sometimes only have five or six meetings a semester, I don’t really see how that could be beneficial to any party,” she said.

Over the summer, Bentley is going to work with returning student senators and Director of Student Activities and Union Services Mike Patterson to write up a legislation on the issue. She said that representatives must attend half plus one meetings. In doing so, it would make Council of Organization meetings more strict.

“We’re working towards keeping council effective,” she said. “Last council meeting, I still had people coming in saying, ‘What do I do here? I’ve never been here before.’ Meetings are not as effective as they should be.”

Relay for Life Council Representative Liz Pinto said she attends every council meeting but still finds the attendance idea to be positive.

“I think it’s a good idea because there’s some things about paperwork and really minor things that if you miss, it’s not a big deal. But if you miss something that’s important, it’s kind of important,” said Pinto.

Bentley is also trying to figure out the most “reasonable form of repercussions” if an organization fails to hand in the travel roster on time.

“I realized that [the Student Association (SA)] was facing major liability issues when it came to organizations using our money and our name to go on trips, registering in hotels and at conferences and renting transportation,” said Bentley.

Bentley said the roster would ensure only current New Paltz students are using SA funds to go on trips. Students must provide their name, Banner ID number, cell phone and an emergency contact. Bentley is working with Sports Advisor Joe Deck and Patterson to make this roster possible.

As a returning council chair, Bentley is working on a number of issues in an effort to make the council as important to others as she believes it is.

“I would love to have people come in and make things happen, and to bring forth issues, concerns, ideas for collaborations on campus,” she said. “I think we’re getting there but it’s still a work in progress.”