Senate Speaks

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The 60th Student Association (SA) Senate met for their third meeting of the semester on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The SA Executive Board was not present for the meeting as they were across the river at Vassar College for a meeting.

The Senate discussed issues that are still present on campus, such as lack of student contact with senate and racism. Improvements to “Senate Speaks,” a new online show that gives a summary of the week’s senate meeting was also discussed.

In the beginning of the meeting Senator Zachary Grossman raised the idea of an outdoor retreat for the senate sometime in October.

“We [get to] have a lot of team building and we get to know each other a lot,” Grossman said. “Those senates that do go on retreats get a lot more done than those that don’t.”

The retreat would take place somewhere local to the New Paltz area. Greenkill and Frost Valley were brought up as potential locations.

When discussing expectations for the Senate for the semester, there was a mutual agreement to focus on communication between the student body and the Senate. A big focus was put on “Senate Speaks” to increase contact with the student body.

The Senate watched their two “Senate Speaks” videos that are currently on Youtube uploaded by the user NPCSUNY in order to look for improvements that need to be made to the videos. Suggestions for spreading “Senate Speaks” to the student body included having them be shown on the televisions that are present in the Student Union Building (SUB) and the videos being posted to the Facebook pages of the different graduating classes.

Later, the issue of the “no smoking within 50 feet of any buildings” rule and issues of racism on campus were discussed. Placing a bench marker 50 feet away from each building was briefly discussed as a solution to the confusion surrounding the no smoking within 50 feet of a building rule.

Senator Brandon Messer raised concern over the many racist comments that have been made on Yik Yak so far this semester.

“I have made posts advocating to down vote and flag these posts,” Messer said.

An incident on campus that took place two years ago when a whiteboard on campus read “Emmett Till deserved to die” was also brought up to raise awareness of the presence of racism on the campus. The Senate will be focusing on solutions for the issue throughout the semester.

The meeting concluded with an in-depth discussion regarding time extensions of administrative responses to Senate  proposed stipulations.