Oswego State hosts SUNY SA town hall meeting

(Lily Choi | The Oswegonian)
(Lily Choi | The Oswegonian)

Oswego State hosted the monthly SUNY Student Assembly town hall meeting Nov. 7 in the Marano Campus Center.

The SUNY Student Assembly is another level of student government in which students are represented on a SUNY-wide level. Every month, the SUNY Student Assembly establishes a meeting at a different SUNY campus throughout the state to discuss a variety of issues students are concerned about and to give SUNY students a chance to talk about those issues to the SUNY SA Executive Board.

“The town hall meetings continue to be met with enthusiasm by our students,” said Lori Mould, president of the Student Assembly. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to meet face to face with our constituents and better represent them to the system, the state and beyond.”

The last town hall meeting was hosted by SUNY Potsdam, and was well attended and allowed for a productive arena to exchange ideas and information. This is the first time Oswego State has hosted the monthly meetings.

“One of the vice president’s roles is planning and scheduling the dates and locations of these meetings,” said Oswego State SA President Tucker Sholtes. “The current Vice President Tom Mastro went to Maine-Endwell High School with me and when he was elected as Vice President he asked me if Oswego would be interested in hosting.”

The issues discussed at the meeting included registration, sexual assault resources on campus, a layout of unisex bathrooms in campus residence halls, transfer student resources, international student resources, food in dining halls and off-campus options for dining dollars.

“In total, there were about 30 individuals at the meeting, about 10 of which were Oswego Students,” Sholtes said. “The others being students from throughout the SUNY system.”

Aside from the town hall meeting, the SUNY Student Assembly included business meetings with members of SA, and the weekend included a breakfast in the food activities court in which Oswego State President Deborah Stanley attended and spoke, a lunch in Lakeside Dining Hall, a formal dinner in the Sheldon Ballroom and the men’s ice hockey game versus SUNY Cortland that Saturday night.

The assembly executive board also participated in a university-wide student success committee meeting, a sexual assault and domestic violence and personal safety task force meeting, a finance committee and external relations committee meeting, a college committee meeting and campus relations committee meeting.

Along with several other meetings and conferences Sholtes has recently attended at SUNY schools, he said the events of the weekend displayed the power student voices can have in their education.

“Overall, I took away reinforcement about how powerful the SUNY system is and the impact in which students can have,” Sholtes said.

Sholtes added that the issues discussed at the town hall meeting gave him “a better understanding of the issues faced by a variety of SUNY Colleges. A lot of best practices were shared as well.”

Sholtes discussed the town hall meeting at the weekly Oswego State SA meeting last Tuesday evening. Speaking on its great success, he proposed an idea for the Oswego State SA to hold its own town hall meetings to increase transparency between the students and student government. The idea was well received by the senate and SA directors.

Sholtes said he would like to hold at least two town hall meetings a semester starting in the spring semester.

This proposition will be discussed further in the next few weeks.