The 54th student senate met for the fifth time this semester on Tuesday, Oct. 9 to discuss current campus issues and senator goals.
Student Association (SA) President Josh Simpson began the meeting with his report on the Campus Auxiliary Service (CAS) board meeting held on Tuesday, Oct. 9. He said at the meeting a Pepsi Marketing Committee was created with a budget of $40,000, which CAS will decide how to spend.
Simpson said there are also two SA appointed positions available on this committee, and he asked the senate to spread the word about it to bring in nominations for next week.
Simpson said during the CAS board meeting, the idea of placing hydration stations around campus to fill water bottles and reduce the use of disposable bottles was dicussed. He also talked about the expansion of the use of Hawk Dollars in town. He also reminded the senate that Shop24, the 24-hour campus vending machine, will be open the first week of November. The convenient store in Hasbrouck will also remain open, he said.
Simpson also said he will be meeting with college President Donald Christian to discuss the “Let’s Talk About It” fora. He said he wants to start structuring the event as a series, rather than having it focus on one topic to save spending money.
“Terrell [Coakley] got a $10,000 grant last year,” Simpson said. “So why spend everything at once when we can actually be covering more than one topic?”
During his report, Simpson apologized for the remark he made last week about having private executive sessions where the media cannot be present, realizing that it is unconstitutional to silence them.
Executive Vice President Manuel Tejada spoke about expanding student presence at senate.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Jonathan Espinosa talked about the book store forum that was held last Wednesday and said he met with the library dean on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
President of Finances Youssouf Kouyo said since the start of the semester, the senate has only used $5,000. He also said he will be talking to Steve Deutsch from CAS about getting 16 HD channels to students on campus, which will cost $50,000.
Some members from the senate challenged this goal because they felt it wasn’t the best use of money. One senator suggested adding more channels to what students already have because movie channels such as Showtime and HBO are not included.
Vice President of Programming Esthephanie Peralta said there are three seats left on the SAP board. She also said she is hoping to meet with the seven current SAP members next week to talk about goals for the semester.
Senate Chair Yaritza Diaz told the senate she is working on having an open event on Election Day outside for all students to watch the presidential elections together.
Council of Organization Representative Rose Faber said the next council meeting is in SU 62/63 on Monday Oct. 15 and said club charters are due this Friday, at 11:59 p.m. She also said $8,000 were put aside for the Rainbow Committee who is in charge of organizing Latino Week, Black Week, Carribash and Jam Asia.
Dr. Ordway from the Student Health Center came to address the requests to extend the center’s hours. He said the senate should be careful how they spend their money because extended evening hours will increase the student health fee, and may not actually be beneficial because certain tests done during the day have to be sent out to labs and if those tests are done at night, they can’t be sent out to labs until the next business day.
Kenny Satterlee, a representative from NYPIRG, spoke about Rock the Vote. He said that 1,400 students signed up to vote and they are 100 people shy of their goal. He said if students still need to register to vote, to visit the NYPIRG office between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. in SU 426 or attend Rock the Vote in Hasbrouck Quad.
Editor-in Chief of The New Paltz Oracle Andrew Wyrich spoke to the senate, reminding them that they represent the student body and their meetings are open to the campus community. He also expressed the power and freedom the press has. He said there are only six specific reasons listed in their constitution that allows privacy from the press at meetings, none of which have surfaced.
“This is an open meeting and my reporters are here,” he said. “This is the way we get news stories, how we know what’s going on and let the student body know what’s going on.”
Following this, there were committee elections during which two students were elected to the Judicial Board and one person was elected to the Budget and Goals Committee. Espinosa said there is also a seat open for the Constitution and Rules Committee.
The campus drug policy was then discussed. Senate members suggested moving from a two-strike policy to three-strikes, however, Director of Student Activities and Union Services Mike Patterson said the college council is hesitant to do this because they want to protect the college’s reputation.
Sen. Roberto Lo Bianco discussed Park Point housing, affordable luxury student housing for transfer students. He said the development will not be part of the college, but is through a private company, and they are going to work with financial aid so students can utilize funds for off-campus housing.
The next senate meeting is Tuesday Oct. 16, in SU 418.