Senate Discusses Member Retention

Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.

The 58th Student Senate met Wednesday night, Oct. 29, for their weekly meeting, one that discussed future events, campus issues and potential resolutions.

Executive Vice President Jesse Ginsburg spoke about New Paltz LOOP bus flyers, saying that there will soon be flyers around campus with the schedule on it soon, which will inform more students about using the bus as an option.

Ginsburg also talked about a conversation he attempted to have with police chief David Dugatkin about the recent incident between a student and UPD officer during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s visit to campus, where he says Dugatkin did not respond to his emails, only saying that there “is nothing to talk about.”  Ginsburg said that Dugatkin said he was interested in having a dialogue with students about police issues, and should follow up on his claim.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Jordan Taylor will be meeting with the chair of faculty governance about student/faculty interaction.  He discussed new senate candidacy forms, which state that Senators must serve two office hours a week and be on two committees. These new forms will not be used for upcoming senate elections, but will be used for spring elections. He also spoke about meeting with the provost about a “meet the administration program,” where students can talk to President Donald Christian and other administrators.

Senate extensively discussed the idea of filling current empty seats by bringing on students without electing them. Currently senate is comprised of 21 senators as opposed to the 25 it started with, as four have left during the current semester.

“If there are people who want to be on senate, we should elect them already,” said Sen. James Auer.

Senators eventually decided against the idea, with majority voting against the motion.

“We need to worry about making our current senate as good as possible,” said Sen. Dana Hershkowitz.

Other senators agreed that the senate should be concerned with making itself as beneficial to the student population as possible with the members it currently has.

Sen. Zach Grossman spoke of a recent faculty meeting where they voted to put new general education rules in place.  Faculty voted to pass motions that require all students to take a capstone course, take a math class with a placement level of four or more and take both Composition I and II.

Director of Student Activities Mike Patterson said the division of student affairs is holding a luncheon panel on Nov. 20, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. for anyone interested in being involved with student affairs.  The first 40 people to sign up will be able to participate, and the event will have free lunch for those who attend.

Senate elected new members to Academic Affairs Committee, Educational Tech, Curriculum and Student Judicial Committee.

Senate voted to implement the event-managing app “Check I’m Here,” which would allow clubs and organizations to keep track of its members and manage its events. With a close vote of seven to six, senate approved the idea.  Patterson mentioned that although they voted to move forward with implementing the app, this does not mean that it will necessarily get funded.  The app would cost the school $5,500 for a six-month trial.

Sen. Brienna Parsons introduced three resolutions which she said dealt with segregation and discrimination on campus.  The resolutions included condemning of various organizations and persons regarding their stances towards LGBTQ issues and various changes to campus policy to make conditions more friendly for transgender students.

Although many senators were wary of Parson’s concerns, they agreed to table the issue to the Constitution and Rules Committee, rather than vote on the issues.