The 59th Student Senate met on Wednesday, March 25, beginning with discussion over the fast-approaching election process for next semester’s senate. Candidate seat forms will be released March 30, and due for submission on April 13 at noon.
Concern over voter intimidation by candidates was brought to the forefront of conversation, such as in-person campaigning tactics that are potentially viewed as harassment by some students.
“Not campaigning during election time because of voter intimidation is not preferable as campaigning preserves competitiveness and effort,” Sen. Fernando Cintron said. “It educates possible student voters. They want to see that candidates are interested in their campaign.”
Sen. Zach Grossman said that it is unnecessary to tell candidates not to campaign and proposed a solution that limits candidates to campaigning online only in order to reduce possible harassment to voters. Another suggestion was the possibility of a small description of why the candidates are running next to their names when students are voting as a mini version of a letter of intent.
“This is an election, although I am strongly against voter intimidation because that is an underhand move pulled out of desperation, we cannot monitor that, I do not think we should eliminate campaigning during election,” Sen. Rookie Reynoso said. “Some people really work hard for this.”
Senate then took a vote with few in favor of campaigning with absolutely no stipulations or limits, none in favor of absolutely no campaigning, a majority vote of campaigning with certain rules and three abstain.
SUNY Purchase passed legislation against the rational tuition increase and senate intends to follow this lead.
On Tuesday, March 31, “New York Student Rising” (NYSR) will be hosting a walk-out, rallying outside of the Humanities Building to speak out in opposition of tuition hikes and student debt as well as inviting students to share their stories concerning student debt and have their voices heard.
This rally looks to take a stand against the “rational tuition increases,” freeze tuition, call attention to the student debt crisis, oppose Start Up NY and call President Donald Christian out on his support of the tuition hikes.
“Save Our SUNY” is a student made video discussing this issue and can be found on YouTube created by NYSR at SUNY New Paltz, Democracy Matters at SUNY New Paltz and concerned students who believe in affordable and accessible higher education.
Sen. Brienna Perez is the main sponsor of the Hall Rounds Resolution Legislation. This resolution calls for the SUNY New Paltz University Police Department (UPD) to end their practice of regularly patrolling residence halls, on the grounds of the dormitories being a space where privacy needs to be respected.
“The dormitories serve as the primary living space for many SUNY New Paltz students, where they are reserved the right ‘to the respect and safety of personal property, to study without interruption or interference, to be free from unreasonable noise, and to be free of intimidation or harassment,” read the legislation, quotes of which found in the Housing Handbook.
The legislation also argued that if there were a threat present to the students in the dormitories, the Residence Assistant and/or Resident Director may contact the UPD for assistance upon a need basis.
Senate then voted to sponsor the legislation, adding the organization to the co-sponsor list additionally consisting of Alexandra Miller, Fernando Cintron, Christine Rivera and Sarah Eames.