The SUNY New Paltz Student Association (SA) is looking to continue working toward improving the issues they took on last semester as the spring semester gets underway.
The college’s drug policy, maintaining food quality at affordable pricing and the ongoing debate over Park Point are issues that will continue to be discussed, SA President Manny Tejada said.
Last semester, SA questioned aspects of the potential Park Point housing complex, including cost, transportation to and from campus, police presence and the use of natural gas as opposed to the possibility of green gases.
The drug policy was also under scrutiny at the end of last semester, as Tejada revealed the responses to the senate-created drug survey conducted last semester at SA’s final fall meeting. Ten percent of the student population took the survey, and talks of further analyzing the results in hopes of creating a proposed renovation to the current policy took place.
Tejada said increasing diversity and inclusion on campus, particularly with use of the remaining money SA has from the “Let’s Talk About It” grant, will continue to be a topic on the table at SA meetings within the next few weeks. At the end of the semester, SA will begin focusing on looking at the “activity fee and constitutional convention,” he said.
“These issues are important because they touch upon different constituent bodies campus interests, and are issues that affect students’ futures and their experience on campus,” Tejada said. “Overall these issues highlight the need to continue being active politically and socially on campus.”
SA Vice President Zachary Rousseas said he will use his position on SA to assist the the Queer Student Union (QSU) in their goal for achieving transgende-related healthcare to be included in the student insurance policy, along with other LGBTQ activists on campus.
“I am in contact with a few other student government leaders in the SUNY system who identify as queer who will also be working on this issue alongside SUNY New Paltz,” Rousseas said. “Although this is not necessarily a new issue, creating safe spaces tends to manifest itself in different ways every semester as we continue to progress to a more inclusive campus.”
Rousseas said he cannot foresee or detail what type of legislation will be passed this semester, but “hopes to see legislation that works to make SUNY New Paltz a safer space and more inclusive.”