Senate Discusses Reforms For Next Semester

Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the 58th Student Senate met for their last meeting of the semester to discuss school policies.

Student Association (SA) President Osato Okundaye opened the meeting with discussion of an upcoming vote on Dec. 10 to potentially ban the sale of plastic water bottles on SUNY New Paltz campus.

“We’re going to use information on student’s preferences on using their own reusable water bottles versus purchasing water on campus [to make a decision],” Okundaye said. “We talked about providing paper cups in the SUB to give students some time to adjust [if the policy is passed].”

Senators noted their annoyance with the shortly upcoming closure of the main floor of the Sojourner Truth Library (STL) during the culmination of the fall semester and beginning of finals season to Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Jordan Taylor. This impending closure was especially worrying since senators voiced their concern with the timing well in advance.

Sen. Adriana Dulmage discussed administrator’s plans for the introductory Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies class, Women Images & Realities. The class is set up with lectures and coordinating sections, she explained, and administrators want to double the size of section classes by firing the adjunct professors who also teach this class in an effort “to save money.” However, these professors and the current structure of this class are well-loved among students and “integral to the whole program” and the decision is “very controversial,” Dulmage said.

Senators also voted in favor of an amendment to the Non-Student Association Programming Bylaw, pitched by Vice President of Finance Rosemary Owuo. Now, Greek organizations do not need to expressly demonstrate financial need — something which was ambiguous in the original bylaw — to receive school funding. Greek organizations are still restricted to a max of $500 in funding per semester. Representatives from Greek organizations discussed reasons as to why they requested funding this semester, including decorations for events and various educational programming.

Sen. Brienna Melodie Parsons discussed her two resolutions to combat the erasure of micro-aggressions against transgender and gender non-conforming people. Her resolution condemned SUNY New Paltz’s ability to create a safe environment for diversity. A third resolution was proposed in regards to the changes being made to the Women Images & Realities course. Ultimately, senators chose to adjourn the meeting and revisit these resolutions next semester with more information.