Senate Hears Reports From Members

The legislative body heard senate reports from its members, discussed digital SEIs and reviewed their goals list.
The legislative body heard senate reports from its members, discussed digital SEIs and reviewed their goals list.

The 52nd student senate discussed digital SEIs, evaluation forms for advising and their goals list during their second general meeting of the semester.

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Ayanna Thomas said the digital SEIs that debuted last semester had a higher response rate than SEIs administered in classrooms.

Thomas asked the legislative body for feedback to improve the digital SEIs for this semester. Some members of the student senate suggested the digital SEIs be posted during a different time period. To increase the student response rate, Sen. Esthephanie Peralta suggested that there be an incentive for students who fill out the digital SEIs, such as Hawk Dollars or gift cards. Sen. Wendy Cohen said that withholding grades until students complete their digital SEIs could also increase response rates.

After discussing the digital SEIs, Thomas discussed with the legislative body plans to create an evaluation form, similar to SEIs, for students to evaluate faculty advisors. Sen. Kaychell English said there should be head advisors in each department since many faculty advisors are also professors and have a tight schedule. Cohen said peer advising within a department would be beneficial.

“In the department you could have three or four seniors who have been through the whole run-around… [advising other students].”

Thomas said since there isn’t a clear description of advising on this campus, she hopes to create a uniform document to clarify faculty advisor’s roles and responsibilities. The document could be inserted into the Academic Advising Handbook or the Faculty Handbook.

During his senate report, Sen. Jonathan Espinosa said that in a few weeks a printing system will be installed in the Student Union (SU). The printer will be located on the basement floor, next to the campus bookstore.

During her senate report, Cohen read a statement to the legislative body to shed light on an incident that occurred Tuesday morning in Deyo Hall. A first-year student was hospitalized for taking an unknown hallucinogen and “arrested for second-degree kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment and assault.” She also said the student was Tasered and pepper-sprayed by campus police.

“These incidents are most upsetting because they can be handled in a way that can reduce the possible harm,” she said.

Cohen said if students were aware of a law passed in 2011, which granted “amnesty to anyone who called help for himself/herself or for a friend during a drug overdose,” this incident and the criminal charges brought against the student could have been avoided.

Cohen also mentioned that SUNY New Paltz “have been inadequate at keeping students informed about this incident and other incidents affecting community safety.”

The student senate went over their goal list for the semester. A few of the goals on their list are extending SU hours, adding majors to degree title and extending campus escort hours.

The next senate meeting will take place Feb. 14 in room SU 418.