Senate Hears From Candidates

The 53rd student senate elected next year's chair of the legislative body for the next academic year.
The 53rd student senate elected next year's chair of the legislative body for the next academic year.

During their 12th regular meeting, the 53rd student senate recognized the candidates for executive board (E-board) positions, approved a nomination for Student Association  Productions (SAP), elected their new senate chair for the 2012-13 year and heard from Students with a Common Interest.

Sen. Richard Jean-Louis announced he will be dropping out of the race for Student Association (SA) executive vice president and entering the race for SA President against fellow Sen. Josh Simpson.

Jean-Louis said he decided to drop out of the race after careful deliberation, conversations with people close to him and a brief conversation with President Donald Christian.

“I know that I can be more effective as the president as well as a great liaison for the New Paltz student body and administration,” Jean-Louis said. “I’ve devised a list of feasible goals I plan to bring to the attention of administration and advocate for if elected.”

Sen. Manuel Tejada  received the senate chair’s award for Rookie of the Year for his dedication to senate. Tejada spoke on his experience as senator and his plans for next year which include running for executive vice president, along with Sens. Kasper Garlicki and Mathew John.

Sens. Esthephanie Peralta and Henry Lino announced they will be running for vice president of programming. They both highlighted their experience on clubs and committees and informed the senate of their programming ideas for next semester.

Sen. Ramelle Liverpool said she is running for vice president of Academic Affairs and Governance along with Sen. Jonathan Espinosa. They both expressed their concern for current campus issues and how they wish to improve them. Both senators completed their goal for the semester: to get a printer in the Student Union and printers in Residence Halls.

Senate Chair Alberto Aquino announced Sen. Wendy Cohen as Senator of the Year for the strides she has made and her devotion to the Good Samaritan Policy, which he said was recently passed at the Student Assembly.

Aquino passed the torch to Sen. Yaritza Diaz, making her the 2012-13 senate chair.

The student senate approved the SAP nomination for Jean-Louis and heard brief reports from the E-board who wished the candidates best of luck in the elections.

SA President Terrell Coakley said he is still waiting to hear back about the grant and encouraged senators to tell him if there is anything they would like him to do in his final weeks as president.

Executive Vice President Eve Stern reported to the senate about the progress of gender-neutral housing. She said SUNY Albany will be starting gender-neutral housing and would like to develop a connection between New Paltz and Albany on this issue.

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Ayanna Thomas said she will be speaking with the person in charge of elections to make sure placing the student activities fee on the ballot is OK. She said on Monday, May 7, SA plans to have a Blackout Day in which garbage bags will be placed over the bulletin boards to express the importance of the student activities fee. She also said senate will be having a meeting in May to discuss their plans for improving advising.

Vice President of Programming Laneesha Bacchus announced the concert will be taking place this Saturday and she has some surprises for the New Paltz students. She said  they are still looking for volunteers and they should arrive by 5 p.m.

Members of Students with a Common Interest attended the meeting to inform the senate of their recent forum in which community members, students, faculty and staff discussed their concerns with Sodexo. The group said after being invited to the Campus Auxiliary Service (CAS) meeting by CAS Executive Director Steven Deutsch, some of their members attended and were asked not to video record the meeting even though it was a public meeting. They said not only does CAS need to publicize their meetings more, but the survey results are still not in line with what students want.

At the end of the meeting, the senate reviewed their goals list. They announced the completion of some goals and said others need to be put aside for next semester.

The last senate meeting of the semester will take place on Tuesday, May 8 in Student Union 418.