Senate Talks On Their Progress And Plans

The senate discussed the upcoming Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) weekend.
The senate discussed the upcoming Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) weekend.

On Tuesday, March 27 the 53rd Student Association (SA) senate held their eighth meeting of the semester to discuss the current status of their projects and plans for after Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) weekend.

SA President Terrell Coakley reported to the legislative body about possibly giving some clubs the ability to line item and placing that ability in the constitution or setting a precedent for clubs to be able to do so to help with budgeting.

“Clubs that already have money will not be asking for more money,” Coakley said. “I think it is better in terms of budgeting clubs because we are supposed to be enabling people to learn how to budget.”

SA Executive Vice President Eve Stern agreed money should not be wasted. She addressed the issue of students underutilizing the composting stations in food service areas, which results in a waste of thousands of dollars. Stern asked senators to encourage students to use the composting stations and suggested there be more education about composting.

In her report to the senate, Stern discussed the gender-neutral housing project. She said she held a focus group for the idea last week and made final changes to a gender-neutral housing survey that will be sent out to all students next week.

Stern also addressed the recent changes in Hasbrouck and Hawk Street Station, including vegan and gluten-free food options. In addition, she addressed that food orders at Hawk Street Station will be available until midnight. Stern said these changes are a result of a different food vendor. Continuous improvements will be taking place if the vendor is Sodexo or not.

Sodexo will be holding an advisory board meeting on April 4 in Student Union (SU) 62/63 to discuss further changes, Stern said. She encouraged senators to attend this meeting in order to voice their concerns.

Stern would like to form an advisory committee composed of 10 students who will regularly meet with Sodexo to talk about the proposed changes. She said she may attempt to make this committee a requirement by adding it to the constitution.

Stern informed the senate about her recent meeting with the Campus Auxiliary Service (CAS) board. The budget was reviewed at the CAS meeting and an additional $35 was added to the meal plan due to inflation. During the CAS board meeting, Stern requested a bigger selection of used books in the bookstore and discussed better ways to reallocate the leftover dining dollars.

Vice President of Finance Youssouf Kouyo said currently there is $6,909 in conferences and $12,665 in General Programming. He encouraged the senators to attend BFC weekend this Friday through Sunday, where money will be reallocated for next year and food will be provided.

Due to the absence of Laneesha Bacchus, the vice president of programming, Stern delivered her report and told the senate the contract for the spring concert performer, Wale, has been returned and tickets will be sold next week.

Sen. Kaychell English discussed potentially placing bird feeding machines on the campus to allow students to feed birds in a healthier way.

Sen. Wendy Cohen discussed the Good Samaritan Policy and the recent public service announcements that were created in places such as Ithaca which promote the policy.

Director of Student Activities & Union Services Michael Patterson said the senators will have the “unique experience” of ratifying the budget after BFC weekend. He also said this is a referendum year during which the student body will vote on the amount for the Student Activity fee. He encouraged senators to support this referendum and get students to vote in favor of it.

Sen. Jonathan Espinosa joined Sen. Manuel Tejada in his project to improve the smoking situation and he suggested forming a committee composed of smokers and non-smokers to find a solution to the issue.

Sen. Matt Clarkson spoke about the construction project and the problem with the construction taking place around Shango.

Espinosa said he will be sending an email to request updates every two weeks on the status of construction and more detailed emails to the student body about how the construction will affect them.

The senators concluded their meeting by discussing the progress they have made with the projects on their goals list.

The next senate meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 3 in SU 418 at 8:45 p.m.