The 57th Student Senate met on Wednesday, March 12, where they discussed topics such as activity fees, SEIs, SU options and what should be done with United Greek Association funded clubs.
The meeting opened with an update on behalf of Executive Vice President Zach Rosseaus. He said the University Police Department (UPD) is still working on the marijuana legislation and that transgender inclusive health care is still in the works.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Jordan Taylor discussed activity fees at the Council of Organizations meeting on Monday and shared his findings with his fellow Senate members.
According to Taylor, 10 percent of the student population has to vote in favor of the fee for it to change.
The senate unanimously voted to move $3,000 from the research board, and $6,000 from unappropriated to conferences. Unappropriated clubs are not chartered and have lost their budget — sending the money to the unappropriated funds.
Sen. Zach Grossman spoke about the current state of SEIs and the SU policy. He said the Academic Affairs committee met Wednesday and a resolution was made.
“When faculty assembly passes a resolution (faculty governance) that requires administrative action, the president or provost will communicate that with the assembly and they have 60 days to respond,” Grossman said.
Regarding SEIs for this semester, and possibly next semester, the way comments will be distributed has changed. =Only the professors will see open comments, Grossman said.
A new proposal was made regarding the SU policy as well.
“If you are transferring and have more than 60 credits, you can SU a course twice,” Grossman said. “Prior to the fix, it was four classes and two replacement grades. You can only replace two courses, as well as SU two courses. You still have up to a year to un-SU a course. We are bringing this resolution to Academic Senate.”
Senate then discussed possibilities of funding Greek organizations, which is a continued discussion from last semester.
“We discussed last semester whether or not we would fund [Greek Organizations],” Taylor said. “We don’t have to decide this week, but we have to next week. We should have something in our heads before next week.”
Sen. Dana Hershkowitz said members of United Greek Associations pick and choose members. No other Student Association groups can do that.
“Because of that reason, that is why they can’t fund them,” she said.
“Money is going towards specific programs they are putting on. They have to follow SA rules. Students still have to be getting a benefit. Non-SA organizations cannot use money to go off campus,” Sen. James Auer said.
Taylor mentioned the Activity Fee Referendum Legislation that occurs between April 29 and 31 along with voting on My.newpaltz.edu and at the Student Activity elections. This is a vote on whether or not student activity fees should increase.
He also mentioned if money will be alloted to non-SA organizations during Budget Finance Committee (BFC) weekend, the Senate should also keep a potential amount in mind.
“We are going to pass the legislation before the activity fee referendum, which will determine the referendum,” Taylor said.
Senate unanimously agreed to open the account and were in support of non-organized SA student funding.
The meeting was adjourned after a vote of approval giving non-Student Association recognized organizations funding, only if the student activity fee was increased.