Look back at major stories of this semester

The past semester at Oswego State has been a busy one. From the implementation of the Excelsior Scholarship to the Blue Route bus catching fire, the past 10 issues of The Oswegonian have covered many events on campus.

The first issue of The Oswegonian for this year detailed how the Title IX office partnered with the Dean of Students office, permitting students and faculty to change the name the college would use when referring to them in official capacities. This change permitted students who do not go by their legal name, for any reason, to “encourage an environment for personal expression within community standards,” according to the Preferred Name Policy.

In our following issue, released on Sept. 15, a story was published that covered how the administration alongside the Student Association, had sent a letter to Congress, urging it to reinstate the protections that people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status received.

“At SUNY Oswego, we care deeply about all our students and remain committed to securing the future of our students who, personally or through connections to loved ones, now face undeserved discrimination and life-changing ramifications from the decision to end the Delayed [Deferred] Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” the letter said.

The following issue, on Sept. 29, had two major stories on its cover. The Federal Department of Education had just rolled back Title IX rules about sexual misconduct, namely how it was to be investigated by the schools. Placeholder policies are still in effect today, nearly two months later, which were meant to give more autonomy to the colleges in their handling of sexual misconduct.

That same issue had a story about a bus fire on campus. The Blue Route bus, while on the West Side of campus, had encountered a mechanical malfunction that caused its engine to catch fire. None of the passengers or the driver were harmed in the fire, and no major incidents have been reported since, regarding Blue Route busses.

The Oct. 6 issue detailed how Oswego University Police are cracking down on distracted driving. A statistic cited in the piece showed that 80 percent of cellphone owners cannot go one day without looking at their phones, and Oswego UP Assistant Chief Kevin Velzy said he feared the ban on cellphone use while driving would see the same fate as the requirement for seatbelts in a car, which is only followed by 91 percent of motorists since being instituted in the early 1990s.

The Oct. 13 issue included the visit of Kate Fagan, a prominent sports media figure who spoke about her experiences as a gay woman in the world of athletics. Fagan also had spoken about her experiences with self-care and pressure management in the sports world.

The Oswegonian’s Oct. 20 issue ran a story about how the Excelsior Scholarship, for many students, was not all they expected.

“I was relieved and thought I was good to go and wouldn’t have to stress anymore, but ended up getting $81 each semester,” Randy Nguyen, a student said in an interview for that story. “I knew it was too good to be true.”

On Oct. 27, the campus hosted its annual Louis B. O’Donnell Media Summit, where four media professionals sat down to talk about the modern issues facing media in America, moderated by a fifth media professional. The discussion remained professional and courteous for much of the summit, although one of the panelists, Bob Lonsberry, caught the audience off guard when he made a comment that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary for President Donald Trump, had “too much makeup on.”

That same issue also held another story, about the College Republicans’ free speech ball. In a press release, cited in the story as well, the president of the College Republicans, Tyler Toomey said,  “The event comes at a time where many students feel politically correct culture is destroying learning, inhibiting progress and limiting rights.”

The ball had traveled all across the country, stopping in Washington D.C. before it came to Oswego State.

The Nov. 3 issue had two major stories on its cover. One covered how Lakeside Commons had been advertised by its marketing company illegally on SUNY property when solicitation on campuses in the system is illegal. The company issued an apology and said that it had asked its marketing company to cease this practice. Occasionally, however, the same truck that Oswego State administration had asked not to come onto campus is still seen driving around the streets of the school.

That issue also detailed how SA had debated a proposed resolution to remove plastic cups from Oswego State dining halls. This erupted into argument about how the bill’s supporting documentation, namely the survey given about if the cups should be removed, was not done properly.

That same resolution was covered again in the Nov. 10 issue, which discussed how the bill was again hotly debated. The debate got personal, and the topic of sharing senators’ names on social media was brought up. As the resolution was being put together, the author, Omar van Reenen, directed students to their senators by listing their names and constituencies on Facebook.

Some senators disagreed with the concern about posting names of senators online.

“You are public servants. Your information should be public knowledge,” said Senator Connor Breese during the debate. “If you do not want to share your information to the public, then you represent no one but yourself.”

The last issue of The Oswegonian, before this Dec. 1 issue, detailed the new Grand Challenges Project unveiled by Stanley this semester. The project seeks to tackle the issue of water access around the world by pooling the resources of each school of the campus to attack the issue in their own way.

Photo:Taylor Woods | The Oswegonian

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