At their 10th general meeting, the 52nd student senate invited SUNY New Paltz Police Chief David Dugatkin to the Student Union so they could present questions to him concerning a sticker referring to racial segregation found in the Humanities Building. The legislative body also agreed to co-sponsor an event that will have an open dialogue and discussion related to the Occupy Wall Street movement on Nov. 8
Student Association (SA) President Terrell Coakley said that earlier that day at about 11:30 a.m., a sticker labeled “Colored Only” was placed on a water fountain on the first floor of the Humanities Building. The sticker, which references Jim Crow Laws, was discovered by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Ayanna Thomas and Sen. Jonathan Espinosa.
Coakley then notified Director of Student Activities and Union Services Michael Patterson and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Raymond Schwarz. L. David Rooney, vice president of Student Affairs, was then notified about the incident and he reported it as a hate crime. The offensive sticker was retrieved by campus police for further investigation.
“This will not be tolerated,” said Dugatkin. “This is your home, this is my home and I’m not going to put up with any of this.”
He also said that whoever did this will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.
Coakley, who thought this act was offensive to a wide array of people, said that the Black Student Union (BSU) plans on holding a program this semester to provide an open dialogue and discussion about race. The student senate agreed to be involved in the BSU program.
The legislative body also agreed to co-sponsor an event with Roberto Lobianco which will take place Nov. 30. The event will be a community dialogue and discussion panel about the issues that the “Occupy Wall Street” movement is trying to address.
Sen. Wendy Cohen motioned to vote in favor of co-sponsoring the Lobianco’s event but retracted the motion after Sen. Mark Malizia objected the motion to vote because he wanted the student senate to have a discussion about this event before voting. He concluded that he would support this event if it had a more unbiased tone to it.
After the discussion there was another motion in favor of the student senate co-sponsoring this event. With a 19 of the 20 senators voted in favor of co-sponsoring with Lobianco.
Meanwhile, the Constitution and Rules Committee is putting together a survey for students regarding library hours.
Later on, the senators updated each other on the tasks assigned to them from the goal list that they created two weeks earlier. One of the goals discussed was to extend the hours of the Student Union. Sen. Manuel Tejada has created a survey for students regarding the SU hours. He hopes to create legislation based on the survey.
The next senate meeting will be Nov. 15 in Student Union 418.