At their 11th general meeting, the 52nd student senate discussed the prospect of smoking in designated areas on campus and revisited their goals.
Student Association (SA) President Terrell Coakley began the meeting with his presidential report. One of the things he talked about was another racially charged incident, similar to what happened at SUNY New Paltz last week, that occurred at Williams College (a private liberal arts college in Williamstown, Mass.)
He then briefly discussed the developments in the University Police’s ongoing investigation of the incident, but not in detail. Coakley also reminded the student senate about a program on Nov. 30 that will facilitate a general discussion about race.
He also mentioned that construction will begin on building a new residence hall near Lenape.
SA Executive Vice President Eve Stern reported that the current meal plan, that many people have been complaining about, cannot be revamped until the next academic year. However, they are working on plausible changes for this year.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Ayanna Thomas announced the discrepancies she found in the SUNY New Paltz Student Handbook to the legislative body.
The discrepancy in the judicial section of the handbook, which currently states that when a student violates standard behavior “then an appropriate sanction must be imposed by way of a judicial process which guarantees due process with due regard to the person’s rights as an individual.”
Thomas said she wants to revise and elaborate on the due process that students will face. This change will only affect students facing judicial charges.
She also talked about writing a declaration saying that SUNY New Paltz’s Student Association is in support of how the administration is handling the racially charged event that occurred at Williams College. Her reason for this is so that students of SUNY New Paltz and Williams College can stand in solidarity.
She also mentioned that she is looking for a member to join the Research Board Committee, which is responsible for approving.
Vice President of Finance Youssouf Kuoyo reported that the General Program fund is “in the red.” Kouyo asked the student senate if it was possible to move $6,000 from the SA’s Conference fund to the General Programming fund.
A senator proposed moving $6,000 from the conference fund to the general programming fund, and the money was reallocated to the general programming fund with a unanimous vote from the legislative body.
After the SA E-Board and senate chair reports, the student senate talked about the pros and cons of having smoking zones on the campus.
Sen. Manuel Tejada said that although having a designated smoking area on campus might isolate smokers, the zones could accommodate both smokers and non-smokers.
Sen. Samantha Kossin said that smoking zones would be easier to enforce than the current 50-foot policy.
After the reports and discussions, members of the student senate updated the the SA E-Board and the rest of the student senate on their goals.
Tejada told the rest of the student senate that the survey regarding Student Union hours was finished and that he plans on distributing the survey in the Student Union.
As for the goal of bringing printers to the library, Sen. Jonathan Espinosa said that he has to speak to Disbursing Agent Linda Lendvay about getting funding for the printer, and Council of Organizations Chair Shayna Bentley to get them in the Student Union. He plans on starting this for school organizations. Sen. Wendy Cohen suggested that he give each student organization a print quota.