The 50th student senate approved a partial amount of an appeal made by the Art History Association at their most recent general meeting.
Three Art History Association representatives stood before the senate and appealed for $870 to pay for a speaker that came to SUNY New Paltz on Oct. 27. Because their event cost more than $500, it was supposed to be approved by the Programming Board in order to take $870 from their budget line item, according to Vice President of Finance Youssoff Kouyo.
The representatives said they were unaware they had to go through the Programming Board to get the money for the event and found out after they had already booked the speaker. They said the day they found out, they contacted the vice president of finance and vice president of programming through the Student Association (SA) website. However, members reported they later found out the e-mail system on the website was not working.
According to the representatives of the group, they had been trying to figure out the paperwork since Oct. 14 but were confused as to why they had to get approved because they never had to before. Instead of canceling the event, the representatives said they tried to reschedule but the proposed date they suggested did not work for the speaker.
During discussion, several senators agreed that although the representatives tried to figure out the needed paperwork for approval, there were too many people working on the same issue. They said aside from that, there were a lot of other ways to get in contact with the members of the E-board to clarify the paperwork situation.
Vice President of Programming Anthony Lino asked the senators to put themselves in their shoes and consider that although the students made mistakes, paying $870 is a lot of money.
“They’re relatively young leaders so what we want to do is just advise them what they did was wrong but these are the proper steps of doing it for the next time,” he said.
The senators ultimately decided the speaker must be paid in full but only approved $652.50 and the Art History Association will have to pay the remaining $217.50 through fundraising. The decision was made with the stipulation that this should never happen again.
After hearing the appeal, the Art History Association asked if they could re-appeal this matter. Members were informed that, since they already appeared before the senate, they would have to take the issue to the judicial board.
During his formal report to the legislative body, Senate Chair Terrell Coakley announced the SA executive board went to the State University of New York (SUNY) Assembly, where they met student representatives from other SUNY schools.
After having attended the assembly, Coakley said he felt the relationship between SUNY Purchase and their campus police was “a lot better” than the SUNY New Paltz. According to Coakley, SUNY Purchase students have a lot more power in regards to who gets hired by their campus’s police department.
In order to get ideas on how to improve the relationship between SUNY New Paltz students and police, Coakley and other E-board members hope to organize a meeting between the University Police Chief Ray Bryant and the SUNY Purchase police chief.
In an effort to educate students about their rights, Executive Vice President Eve Stern will be hosting a “Know Your Rights” event where she will show a movie that will educate students about their rights.
Afterward, Andy Kossover, marital partner of Student Association Attorney Victoria Kossover, will hold a question-and-answer session.
Stern also said she will start tabling in front of Student Union 100 within the next couple of weeks and hand out “Know Your Rights” cards.
The next student senate meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 9 in Student Union 418.