Senate Addresses CAS Topics

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The 60th Student Senate met Wednesday night to hold committee elections and to report on new and existing initiatives proposed by the committees.

New senators Judy Lin, a second-year double major in political science and philosophy, and Stephanie Liew, a first year business major, were introduced to the body and elected to their respective committees.

Student Association (SA) President Rookie Reynoso will be meeting with President Donald Christian this Friday to discuss the administrative response resolution that was approved by  Senate earlier in the semester. The resolution, aimed at forging a functional relationship between the student body and campus administration, calls for a written response by the appropriate administrator to legislation passed by the Senate.

Reynoso is also researching alternatives to Check I’m Here, the campus engagement software initially proposed by former SA President Osatohamwen Okundaye last fall. The software, available for download on mobile devices, would promote student or club-sponsored events on campus, as well as provide feedback on student participation.

Executive Vice President Kelsey Ryan met with David Rooney, the Vice President of Student Affairs, to discuss plans for a hosting of a police-community dialogue on campus. The program would include members of the campus community, including students, faculty and staff concerned with campus police presence, as well as members of the University Police Department. Vice President Rooney is in support of the program, which hopes to “break down the walls of prejudice on both sides,” according to Ryan.

Nicole Striffolino, the vice president of academic affairs and governance, discussed her plans to promote the Ban the Box campaign within the New Paltz community. Ban the Box is a nationwide movement to omit inquiries regarding one’s criminal history on applications for both employment and education. Together with Senator Maria Iskaros, Striffolino will be meeting with Lisa Jones, dean of undergraduate admissions, to discuss the feasibility of “banning the box” here on campus.

Senator Zachary Grossman reported on his experiences at the Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) board training session, held earlier this week, saying that he and the other student members were encouraged to “put [their] biases aside put [their] activism aside, and to focus on representing the broader campus.”

The CAS board plans to address the ownership of the campus bookstore, as well as the transition into the new vending contract with Coca Cola. Grossman added that members of the board expressed interest in increasing the number of voting student seats.

Veteran senators Maria Iskaros and Adriana Dulmage offered a brief history of student conflicts with the board, citing that student interests are often underrepresented due to the limited number of student seats with voting power. Currently, student interests are represented on the board by the presidents of both Residence Hall Student Association (RHSA) and SA, as well as one student living on campus and one student living off campus, both of whom are elected through the Senate. Three administrators and three faculty members also sit on the board, outnumbering the student vote.