The 53rd student senate approved legislation and appointed members to a committee at their fifth general meeting of the semester.
The Constitution and Rules Committee proposed a bill and a bylaw regarding the creation of the Student Concerns Committee (SCC).
The proposed bill stated the SCC should remain in effect until the 2012-13 school year. The bylaw listed the expectations and responsibilities of the committee, which included publicizing the Student Association (SA) to the campus and addressing the concerns of the student body. The bylaw also stated the senate chair will oversee this committee that be composed of 10 members.
The student senate approved the legislation and appointed five senators to the SCC.
The student senate then unanimously approved four students to the Student Association Production (SAP). This organization is responsible for managing a budget of $80,000, planning concerts, productions and entertainment. There are three seats open on SAP.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Ayanna Thomas presented to the student senate after meeting with Interim Provost Cheryl Torsney in regard to granting the Women’s program departmental status. She said she found out that Black Studies is the only department that has full departmental status on campus.
“All the other departments on campus are basically fake departments and they’re basically programs,” said Thomas.
She also spoke with Torsney about education majors and fieldwork opportunities. Thomas said she discovered there are many education majors who are not willing to do their fieldwork in Newburgh or Poughkeepsie because they feel it’s too dangerous. Their parents have been calling the administration, telling officials they should not be forced to work there.
“It’s a big issue…it’s time to break out of your comfort zones,” said Thomas. “As educators you should be comfortable with interacting with someone who doesn’t look like you.”
Vice President of Programming Laneesha Bacchus announced to the senate Wale will be performing at the SAP concert.
Student Affairs and Union Services Director Michael Patterson said the contract for Wale to perform at SAP has not yet been signed or reviewed. He said it’s not official until the signature and he wants the student senate and the SA Executive board to maintain discretion until the contract is negotiated.
Christlie Julien, second-year international relations major and campus liaison for Target, came to speak before the student senate to recruit students for student leadership opportunities with the company. She said she was offered an executive position after interning for them.
Sen. Wendy Cohen researched the Good Samaritan Policy and created a PowerPoint presentation for the student senate. She said the New York state policy gives amnesty to students who call for help during a drug overdose. This policy also seeks to decrease the likelihood that a student should hesitate to call for help.
Cohen said she wants to make school policy consistent with the state law in regards to the Good Samaritan Bill.
Sen. Jonathan Espinosa expressed concerns about students smoking in front of the Humanities building.
This sparked a discussion about the dangers of second-hand smoke and smoking area limitations on campus. Espinosa tabled the topic for the next senate meeting.
The student senate added finalizing campus construction to their goals list.
The next senate meeting will be on Tuesday, March 6 at 8:30 p.m. in SU 418.