The 56th student senate met for their first meeting of the semester on Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Student Union (SU) 418.
Student Association (SA) President Manuel Tejada opened the official meeting after a brief introduction detailing his role and responsibilities to his new E-board and concluding with reports that SA was given a $10,000 grant to be used for issues related to campus climate.
Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Jordan Taylor discussed his plans on focusing on racial issues within the student body and the development of Women Studies into a formal department.
Business Manager of SA Linda Lendvay stood in for Executive of Finance Youssouf Kuoyo to report that $34,942 was available for subsidizing costs of conferences and $71,957 was available for general programming.
Last on the agenda was the discussion of Women, Sexuality, and Gender Studies (WGS) transition to a formal academic department in the SUNY New Paltz curriculum. SA had proposed the creation of the department last semester.
When the floor was opened to discussion, one senator motioned to move into an SA executive session, which would bar all non-senate members from hearing the discussion, citing “sensitive details” too premature to be divulged to the general student body.
SA Advisor Mike Patterson addressed the senate and said the situation did not meet the specific requirements to motion for an executive session. Consenting senators then motioned to adjourn the meeting and meet for an informal discussion in the SA office.
Sen. Jesse Ginsberg said an informal meeting would be an “executive session in all but name,” voicing concerns that a lack of transparency on a publicly-slated discussion would be corrupt.
After a few more minutes of debate, the meeting was adjourned with a majority vote. Senate then left to reconvene in the SA office.