The 56th student senate met for their third meeting of the semester on Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Student Union (SU) 418.
Student Association (SA) President Manuel Tejada opened the meeting and said that the SUNY-wide campus smoking ban set to begin at the start of January 2014 will not be enforced as it has not yet been made into law by state legislature. Tejada also said that the Park Point PILOT agreement is expected to have a public hearing at New Paltz town hall in November.
On Sept. 25th the senate met for their fourth meeting of the semester.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Jordan Taylor said that he had met with Chanel Ward, Director of the Scholar’s Mentorship Program and ascertained the numbers on enrolled black students in the last two years. According to Taylor, in 2012, 94 black first-year and transfer students enrolled at SUNY New Paltz, compared to 90 black freshman and transfer students enrolled in 2013.
Senate then moved to discuss the United Greek Association’s (UGA) proposed request for SA funding. UGA is not officially recognized by the student association on the grounds that organizations that are exclusive in nature and do not offer the same opportunities to all of the student body can not receive school funding.
A majority of the Senate was opposed to the idea, voicing opposition toward senate money being used to promote not only an exclusive organization, but one that promotes hazing and underage drinking associated with Greek life.
Senator Jesse Ginsburg said that fraternities have proven to be unsafe environments for alcohol related issues and that senate should draw a line and deny funding to any organization that poses health and safety concerns.
The senators agreed that a representative from UGA should make a senatorial presentation detailing exactly how the senate funding would be used. The E-board resolved to meet with the UGA E-board to discuss the matter further.