Houses Discuss Potential Changes

At this week’s Council of Organizations meeting, guest speaker Mark Balaban from the Counseling Center made an announcement about National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week this February.

The Counseling Center is looking for more participation from clubs and organizations this year. Balaban passed around a sign-up sheet for clubs and organizations to table at a fair about eating disorders. Balaban is also attempting to garner club involvement in Fearless Friday, a Friday without dieting, which will be the last Friday of NEDA Week, and will supply food for students.

Afterwards, Council Chair Shayna Bentley put up a “Problems With Council?” slide and had everyone split into houses in order to discuss their current problems with the council and what should be done. She also said there will be no more Student Association (SA) E-board announcements and instead, the E-board will give Bentley their announcements beforehand so she can report the most important ones. Bentley said the Pakistan Relief Effort that SA President Jennifer Sanchez is working on has been moved to Dec. 8.

There are three seats open for SA Productions and elections will be at the next meeting. SA Productions will also be holding a small festival on Dec. 5 in the Student Union Multi Purpose Room and are looking for any kind of performances. Those interested should send an e-mail to anyone on the SA E-board.

Finally, Bentley announced that the SA E-board had recently attended a SUNY Student Assembly meeting. After talking to Purchase College, which has mandatory paperwork training for their club/group representatives, SUNY New Paltz SA has decided to begin this policy next semester.

After the Houses separated and spoke about their critiques of council, a representative of each house came to many different conclusions. Overall, the houses thought council was boring, ran long and could be bewildering for new members and caused confusion concerning dates of the meetings.

Bentley announced she is working to create a calendar of specific times and events. If she is unable to create the calendar, she said she will distribute “program sheets” for groups to list brief information and details about upcoming events. Bentley would then compile the information and send it out in an e-mail. It was also recommended to spotlight a few clubs each week to say who they were, what they were doing and what their upcoming events were.

However, some houses said there were positives to Council, including self-promotion, networking abilities and social aspects.

Bentley then proposed her new plan for Council, which stated that it will only run to an hour maximum. In regards to club announcements, instead of spending time announcing during the meetings, Bentley suggested a new idea of filling out forms about information for upcoming events for clubs/organizations, which Bentley would then organize into an e-mail and send out to all representatives by Thursday of that week. She also wants to create a council board, where one representative from each house would meet with Bentley to discuss the concerns or changes they want made from what they gathered from their house.

Bentley believes the new plan will be beneficial for Council, which she said has had many problems for a long time.

“Council is supposed to be about you all and it hasn’t been,” she said.

The next Council of Organizations meeting will be on Monday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.