The 54th student senate held their 10th meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in Student Union (SU) 418.
College President Donald Christian opened the meeting with his presentation on the Park Point development to clarify misunderstandings and misconceptions students may have had about the project.
“I hope I can help you separate fact from assertion and innuendo and rumors, some of which is not true,” he said. “I want to emphasize how much this project means to the college and how much we’re interested in advocating for it.”
Christian said there has been no on-campus housing for transfers since 2007, and that the goal of Park Point is to provide more housing for transfers, faculty and students who are looking to move off campus. He said this will make more room on-campus to have first-year and transfer students live at SUNY New Paltz and get involved in student life.
He also said that as the market for education becomes more competitive, Park Point is essential for the college’s future.
Christian said these apartments are not considered “luxury” apartments due to the clubhouse and pool that would come with the complex, but they are in actuality designed to fit students needs and lifestyle.
Christian touched on points such as affordability, floor plans, demand, environmental factors and traffic. In regards to traffic, he said studies have been done before the plans for Park Point and it was found that the main result of traffic does not come from students. He also said engineers have conducted studies with Park Point and found that it would have no net impact on town and village traffic.
He also said the soil on the grounds where the development will be built was tested and the level of arsenic found was not enough to cause alarm. The complex will also be built to a LEED Bronze standard, he said.
E-board reports took place after Christian’s presentation. Student Association (SA) President Josh Simpson said he feels he contacted everyone about the Park Point project except for the student body. He said he would send out a survey to New Paltz students to receive their feedback.
“I realize we’ve done it backwards,” he said. “This whole talking about Park Point has been wrong in my mind because we were elected to represent the students. They’re number one.”
Simpson also said there are signs about radiation outside of College Hall, and he emailed John McEnrue, director of facilities, design and construction. McEnrue said the hot water wells are being tested for the construction of the new science building to make sure they are safe.
Executive Vice President Manuel Tejada said he held a meeting with University Police Chief David Dugatkin at 2:30 p.m. in the SA office in SU 417 on Wednesday, Nov. 14. He said the meeting was open for senators to attend with questions or concerns for the chief. He also talked about the Stop and Frisk Symposium which will be held on Dec. 5 at 4:30 p.m. The senate voted unanimously to co-sponsor.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Jonathan Espinosa said he is working with Library Dean W. Mark Colvson on relocating late night at the College Terrace to the library. Espinosa also said he wants to extend the library’s night hours. He reminded senators that elections are coming up soon and to hand in their forms to him if they are running again.
Espinosa presented a resolution draft the Constitution Reconstruction Committee (CRC) came up with in response to the new print quota enforcement. He said he does not think it is fair and that the students were not notified before the decision was made. Senators gave their input on the resolution, and it will be voted on electronically.
Student Association Production (SAP) elections were held and two students were elected to the committee.
Senate reports were given and a senator said the Curriculum Committee recently passed a legislation requiring incoming business students to have a math placement level (MPL) of five opposed to the current MPL of four. He said it was approved because students with an MPL of four were struggling in classes and the higher standard will give students time to take courses to prepare them for the difficult classes.
Eric Wood, NYPIRG project coordinator, said the consumer protection project will host a press conference next Tuesday, Nov. 20 in SU 100 to bring awareness of dangerous toys on the market this holiday season. Wood also said the higher education project workers are accepting political cartoon submissions with the theme of accessible and affordable higher educations. All who are interested should submit their drawings to the NYPIRG office.
The next meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m. in SU 418.