Senate Kicks Off Fall Semester

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The 60th Student Association (SA) Senate met for their first official meeting of the semester at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2, to make general announcements, share reports and conduct committee elections.

The Senate Executive Board kicked off the meeting with general announcements. SA President Rookie Reynoso met with college President Donald P. Christian, who wished SA a productive semester. Executive Vice President Kelsey Ryan, Vice President of Academic Affairs Nicole Striffolino and other E-board members introduced themselves and explained their roles in SA.

Some discussed their goals for this semester, including Senate Chair Paul Brown who pitched his idea for a television program called “Senate Speaks.” The program would require one or two senators to summarize weekly meetings in five-to-ten minute segments on the campus TV station.

“I’m working to make Senate easier to understand, both for the people in this room and the general public,” Brown said. “We’re definitely going to need some TV personalities.”

Eric Wood, program coordinator for SUNY New Paltz’s chapter of New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), spoke to senators about his organization, along with its goals, internship and volunteer opportunities available to students. According to Wood, NYPIRG’s main objective right now is voter registration. He offered voter registration forms to people who wish to register to vote, change their political party alliance or update their mailing address. Wood wants to register as many new voters as possible, as this is an issue he believes is especially timely.

“We’ve got local elections coming up that will directly affect your life here at New Paltz,” Wood said. “We want to make sure that we are accessible to everyone on campus to provide voting registration.”

Director of Student Activities Mike Patterson also introduced himself and his involvement in SA. Patterson stressed the importance of conducting research and hearing “all sides of every story” before any senators come to determinations on proposed legislation.

“Recognize that you represent a lot of students and a large part of the New Paltz community,” Patterson said. “You are one voice in one senate and we encourage that you debate issues thoughtfully.”

Lastly, Senate conducted elections for student committees. Senators Arjeta Prenaj, Oren Koralashvili, Anthony Walsh and Cait O’Connor, plus one non-senate student representative, were elected to the University Police Department (UPD) Committee. Senators Megan Spoth and Alex Giardino, alongside transfer student Anthony Echevers, were elected to the Alumni Affairs Committee. Five senators were also voted into the Constitution and Rules Committee (CRC) and the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC), while one senator was elected as a council liaison.