This Week in SA

The Student Association held its ninth meeting of the semester Tuesday evening. The number of senators needed to make quorum was satisfied.

The minutes from last week’s meeting were approved and the agenda for that Tuesday’s meeting was amended as needed.

There was one group of guests to the senate. Two representatives from the ski and snowboard club addressed the senators. Club President Eric Randall said the number of members in the club has decreased substantially in the last few years. On one of their bigger annual ski trips, Randall said the number of students who went has fallen by about 20 students every year. This year, he said they look to have about 20 people going. Randall appreciated the money SA has given the club in the past to pay for bus transportation, but attributed the loss of members to the out-of-pocket expenses students must make to be a part of it. Randall also mentioned that the club is no longer being supported by Red Bull. The club puts on its annual “Rail Jam” event in the Quad, a ski and snowboarding competition for students. Prizes were usually comprised of Red Bull products. Randall proposed $1,000 in aid for gas money to various slopes and for medals as alternative prizes during the Rail Jam. A senator volunteered to help write a bill for the proposal.

There was no public comment.

In executive reports, SA President Tucker Sholtes briefly talked about last weekend’s SUNY SA Assembly conference that Oswego State hosted for the first time. Sholtes said he got many “thank you” emails regarding Oswego SA’s participation in the event. Sholtes said the town hall meeting, which Oswego State students were invited to attend, was so successful he proposed an idea to the senate. His idea would be to initialize a system to have at least two similar town hall meetings a semester, where Oswego State students can attend, perhaps witness a panel discussion from members of the administration and express their concerns as well as ask questions. Sholtes said if the senate liked the idea, he would try to schedule two for the spring semester.

“I think it’s a very good idea,” Sen. Tyler Jodeit said.

Instead of his usual weekly report, Sholtes decided to ask the senators what were on their minds this week. A big topic discussed was student safety on campus.

Sen. Jillian Kranz is a resident assistant in Funnelle Hall and said she would like to see more transparency between Residence Life and Housing and the residents.

“Every time I ask them about it, they’re like, ‘no it’s fine, we handle everything’ and then we just got another email about making sure our doors are locked,” Kranz said. “You can’t say everything’s all right when obviously there are security concerns.”

Sholtes responded, saying that he believes the administration doesn’t highlight every incident because it would cause students to be more frightened about their safety than needed.

Justin Brantley, the director of multicultural affairs, said he went to Binghamton University last weekend and noticed a lot of blue phones all over the campus. He wondered why Oswego State has little or no blue phones left on its campus. Sholtes said the reason for their absence has been the creation of more efficient safety technology. Oswego Guardian, an app students can use to contact University Police forces with a touch of a button and have them find the student immediately using GPS, was recently released. Sholtes said that the app just has not been advertised that well. University Police Chief John Rossi will discuss the app at the next senate meeting.

Sholtes also mentioned that next semester, SA Assistant Director of Health and Safety Ryan Peters, along with Chief Rossi, Title IX coordinator Lisa Evaneski and other faculty members, will conduct a walk on campus at night to examine the areas that are not lit well enough.

SA Vice President Neely Laufer said she visited a friend’s college campus and said only students who live in a specific residence hall can gain access to the building at any time of the day. Any guests must be signed in by a resident of that building any time they enter. Sholtes and the senate discussed such a scenario at Oswego State, but agreed the issue with that is whether the hassle is worth the security. The senate also discussed how this might be a problem for dining halls. For instance, students must walk through Seneca Hall to enter Pathfinder Dining Hall.

The other big issue senators brought up was registration.

“I’ve heard nonstop complaints about registration last week and this week,” Sen. Alex George said. His comment was followed by a few senators’ applause.

Sholtes said he is in the process of creating a task force on registration to examine any other possible method of who gets to register when that is fair.

“I think it should account to how long you’ve been here versus credits,” Sen. Emily Nassir said. “I’m a sophomore and there are freshmen who got a lot of credits in high school who are getting into classes that I can’t get into, freshmen who have three more years here to take those classes where I only have two.”

The current system in place is that students register based on the number of credits they hold.

Laufer spoke to the senate, reminding senators to fill out their hours on LakerLife and for those who haven’t, to finish filling out their paperwork so they can get paid.

Finance Director Elena Sanchez reported that everything is going smoothly and  she will talk to the finance committee about the ski and snowboard club bill.

Brantley discussed his visit to a diversity and inclusion conference at Binghamton University last weekend to see how Oswego State measures up to other colleges in this regard.

Civic Engagement Director Christopher Collins-McNeil, who also attended the diversity conference, briefly discussed it as well and said the Election Night Party, put on by Rock the Vote, was a success. Even Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei attended the event and spoke briefly.

In committee reports, the rules and judiciary committee did not meet last week. The finance committee did not meet last week. The student involvement committee did not meet last week.

There were no hall council reports.

In senate research forum, Nassir discussed how SUNY Oneonta has a system in which its students get $5,000 a year to suggest using it for something that will benefit the students. Once an idea arises where the money can be used, students can discuss and vote on it.

There were no special orders.

There were no general orders.

There was one piece of new legislation. Legislation 50.06 was brought to the floor, which would create and distribute student discount cards. These would show which restaurants, stores or similar places in Oswego offer student discounts with purchases. The bill was referred to all committees.

There were no senator issues.

The SA senate meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Lanigan 102. All meetings are open to the public.