Student Senate Discusses Participation

The 54th student senate held their fourth meeting of the semester on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The executive board and senators reported on committees, the privacy of senate meetings, as well as the progress of their goal list.

Vice President of Programming Esthephanie Peralta spoke first and led the elections for Student Association Productions (SAP). Twelve candidates were nominated at the council meeting on Monday, Oct. 1 and seven returned on Tuesday and were elected.

Student Association (SA) President Josh Simpson spoke next, expressing his excitement for the senate’s goal list. Simpson said last year’s senate achieved many goals and he would like to see the 54th senate be as successful. He reminded senators to fine-tune their goals to meet student needs.

Next, SA Vice President Manuel Tejada spoke to senators regarding the news that Vice President for Administration and Finance Jacqueline DiStefano will be stepping down in order to accept the position of Vice President for Finance and Business at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y.

Tejada also reminded senate of the Know Your Rights forum on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 8 to 10 p.m. in Lecture Center 102.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Jonathan Espinosa spoke to senate about the bookstore forum on Wednesday, Oct. 3 and said he would be meeting with Sojourner Truth Library Dean W. Mark Colvson, within the next week to create a better relationship between the senate and library.

Vice President of Finance Youssouf Kouyo announced the dates of organization financing training sessions where he will teach organization leaders the correct way to do financial paperwork. Organization leaders have to go to one training session either on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. in Student Union (SU) 418 or Thursday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. in SU 62/63.

Council of Organizations Chair Rose Faber said the next council meeting would be held on Monday, Oct. 15 in room 62/63. Faber also reminded senators to let organizations know that charters are due on Friday, Oct. 12 by 11:59 p.m.

Senate Chair Yaritza Diaz asked senate questions regarding their duties as senators. She encouraged senators to look over their constitution and to know their position and what it entails. Diaz reminded them that if they are not active in their position they could be up for impeachment.

Senate reports included an update from the Sustainability Committee, the goal of extending the hours of the Health Center and the suggestion of adding committees including Food Service Committee and a Drug Policy Committee.

New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) announced the date of the Rock the Vote concert, which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 12 to 5 p.m. on Hasbrouck Quad.

Next, Simpson led a discussion about the privacy of the meetings, suggesting the idea that cameras would be turned off and reporters would be asked to not report on discussions and voting sessions.

Sen. Roberto LoBianco said transparency comes above other things and that it would be good for students to know everything the senate is doing considering that was what the senators were elected for.

“If we can’t let students see what we are deliberating and discussing on, then there really is no point,” LoBianco said.

Tejada then led a discussion about the University Police Department using bicycles. Overall, senators thought the use of bicycles would make police officers more approachable and easily identifiable.

Elections for the Judicial Board were held next, led by Simpson who stressed the importance of candidates being elected as soon as possible. Without student representation on the Judicial Board, judicial hearings have been postponed.

Simpson explained that the previous three candidates “decided they weren’t interested after their experiences,” however two additional students ran and were voted onto the board.

Senate elections for six committees were held throughout the meeting. One student was elected to the Educational Technology Committee, three to the Budget and Goals Plan committee, two to the Academic Affairs committee, and two to the Curriculum committee.

Also two senators were elected to the Liberal Ad Hoc Committee, two to the Research Board and one to the Student Concerns Committee.

Senators concluded the meeting with an update on the progress of their goals list. The next student senate meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in SU 418 at 9 p.m.