Student Senate Holds First Meeting

The 54th student senate held their first meeting of the semester on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Issues were discussed, elections were held and a financial appeal was made.

Student Association (SA) President Josh Simpson took the floor first, addressing some issues that students have faced at the start of the new semester. He said he recognized that Hawk Street Station is gone, leaving students without an on-campus convenience store. Simpson apologized for that, but told the senate he was informed that sometime this week the store will reopen on the first floor of Hasbrouck and remain open until the end of October when Shop24, the campus vending machine, opens.

Simpson said Shop24 will not be accepting Dining Dollars, which may become an issue for students living on campus. He said he will be working closely with Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) to fix this problem.

“Change doesn’t come from making demands. It comes through legislation,” he said. “Everybody is in the position to hear the demands of the student population, make legislation, and that legislation will make change you all want to see.”

SA Vice President Manuel Tejada spoke about the Sojourner Truth Library construction and gave an explanation as to why the project has been delayed. He said over the summer, the SUNY Construction Fund, which funds major construction projects on campus, terminated the contract with the company working on
the library.

Tejada also said he talked with Jackie DiStefano about putting computers on the first floor of the library. Tejada said he is working toward this goal.

Vice President of Programming Esthephanie Peralta said elections for the Programming Board as well as SAP Board will be held on Sept. 24 at the first council meeting. She asked the senate to spread the word to students about the elections.

“I want dedicated people who know what they are getting themselves into,” Peralta said. “So if you’re telling somebody to get on the programming board or SAP, you need to make sure you’re explaining to them exactly what that is, because if you’re not doing your job, then there’s no point of having it.”

Vice President of Academic Affairs Jonathan Espinosa said that he would be asking senate members and students around campus to get involved in one of the six committees requiring seats: Academic Affairs, Academic Senate, Budget Goals and Plans, Curriculum Committee, Education and Technology and Constitution and Rules Committee.

Three students ran for the available seats on the Judicial Board. The senate motioned for discussion before a vote to take place. There was discontent among the board due to the lack of diversity among the candidates.

An area of concern was that there would be judicial biases and word about the elections did not reach a variety of students. A motion was put in place to hold off the elections for another week so additional students could be brought in.

The Culture Shock Club appealed for an additional $3,000 because they had originally asked for $7,000 but it was misread as $4,000. The senate voted to keep the club’s budget of $4,000 because the club’s functions bring in enough extra revenue to maintain their

Senate elections were held toward the end of the meeting. Five senators were elected to the Budget and Finance Committee, but five more spots need to be filled by members of the student body. Two senate members were elected into the Sustainability Committee, six members in the University Police Committee, two members in the Transportation and Implementation Committee and Sen. Ramelle Liverpool was elected as the Senator Vice Chair.

Three seats are available to students for the Academic Committee, and two seats are available to students on the Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee, which will vote in members on Sept. 18.

The CAS board was also a topic of discussion. Currently, four observing students are on the board. There was talk of adding two additional seats to the student board and giving the students voting ability. More discussion on this will follow in future meetings.

Concluding the meeting, the Student Association members were reminded to be cautious of what they post on any social media site and that they are allowed to have opinions, but sharing them on public sites is unprofessional and could potentially hurt people.

The next meeting senate meeting is Tuesday Sept. 11 in Student Union 418.

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