Senate Discusses Upcoming Campus Events And SEIs

Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

The 57th student Senate met Wednesday, March 26 in room 418 at 8 p.m.

Student Association (SA) Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Jordan Taylor reminded SA that elections are approaching and that candidacy forms are available.

Council of Organizations accepted two new clubs this past week: Sociology Club and Business Association for Students of Color.

SA President Manuel Tejeda will present on Park Point at the next Council of Organizations meeting on April 7.

Vice President of Finance Youssouf Kuou said that despite money being moved into the conferences account, it is still in the red. A motion was made to move $5,000 from unappropriated funds to put into conferences. The plan is to move it slowly as opposed to in one big chunk.

There will be an event on Thursday, March 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Center where students of color who were accepted to SUNY New Paltz will be able to learn about the college, using direct contact as a way to hopefully get more underrepresented students to attend the college.

This Sunday, March 30, a “Let’s Talk About It” forum will take place. Cyrus McGoldrick, director for the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, will speak about activism, race and religion. Senator Nadia Alirahi said McGoldrick is aware of the campus’ history of racial signage and is going to direct his attention to how students can create change and see results.

The campus meal plan increases by three percent every year, which would mean it would be raised $55 for the fall 2014 semester, however, this semester as a result of Sodexo’s new contract the increase will not be necessary. Starting next year it will likely only be raised by one percent. The increase will be voted on in the near future.

Academic Affairs met and discussed possible changes to be made to the Student Evaluations of Instruction (SEI’s) that students are required to complete at the end of each semester. Potential changes were suggested including a possibility for two SEI’s a semester — one mid-semester, and one at the end. The thought is that professors will be able to take the criticism and then implement it for the rest of the semester.

Vice President Zach Rousseaus said that his only concern is that professors might be able to identify a student’s SEI, based on their style of writing.

“People are still trying to figure out their professor at the midpoint, so that’s another reason I’m kind of skeptical,” Senator Jesse Ginsberg said.

A documentary titled “Dear Governor Cuomo” will be shown on March 27, in Humanities 214 at 7 p.m. The film is an anti-fracking documentary which includes performances and speeches.

Public relations officer of  Residence Hall Student Association (RHSA), Steven Sullivan spoke about Recycle Mania which will be held this Friday, March 28 from 8 to 10 p.m. in Student Union Building (SU) 100 South. Sullivan encouraged students to support green events.

NYPIRG Coordinator Eric Wood spoke about the Dream Act and the need to keep pressure on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as he has final say on the state budget.

“Undocumented students will be able to access TAP [Tuition Assistance Program] and everyone deserves access to affordable education,” Wood said.

He then urged students to call Gov. Cuomo. Wood also mentioned that the NYPRIG conference starts at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday with workshops all day long.

Director of Student Activities and Union Services Mike Patterson encouraged senators to speak with their peers to consider running for student government positions.

“Robust candidate pools result in robust debate and campaigning, which helps people to understand what you’re campaigning for,” Patterson said.