Senate Discuss Campus Updates

Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

The 56th Student Senate met on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Union.

Vice President Zachary Rousseas brought up the issue of gender identity. He said passing a declaration to make sure all schools protect students regardless of gender identity is something he wants to look more into. In the campus non-discrimination policy there is nothing that pertains to gender identity. Although, certain individual schools do protect students, like SUNY Purchase.

While Lefevre Hall currently has no commitment to gender neutral housing, the senate is looking into making part of the hall permanently gender neutral.

Rousseas also informed the senate that many natural gas companies are donating money towards SUNY New Paltz.

“I think it’s really important that we know where our money is coming from,” Rousseas said.

Vice President of Technology John Lewitt is looking into new ways of printing; an update will come within the upcoming weeks.

The Director of EOP (Educational Opportunity Program) is trying to increase diversity on campus.

Diane Jackson, general manager of food services, attended the senate along with two other Sodexo managers. Jackson introduced herself and said that she came to talk and welcome any questions that the senate might have regarding food services.

“ Your input is very important,” Jackson said. “We have an open door policy and we welcome students to come in and talk; you have some very good ideas that we would like to entertain.”

Jackson explained to the senate that their vegetables, sauces and other foods are often local. All of Sodexo’s paper products will be compostable in the near future, she said.

The Sojourner Truth Library will be re-opening the Starbucks on Monday.  It will now serve specialty drinks, espresso, desserts, to-go sandwiches and sushi.

Brenda Dow, the new alumni director, made an appearance. She spoke about her goals to keep people connected as she did two weekends ago at the Alumni Weekend.

Funding of Greek organizations was also discussed. Two senators argued adamantly in favor of funding, stating that Greek organizations are often stereotyped and that they actively provide services to the New Paltz community.

Following the discussion, elections of several new positions took place including one new member of the student concerns committee, one new member of the academic senate, two members of the academic affairs committee and one new member of the curriculum committee. The next meeting of the Student Senate will be on Wednesday,Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m.