The student government assembly held their final meeting on Wednesday, April 25 in Kelly 4B. The meeting was the last one for the school year and the last one led by the Bishop administration. Wrapping up the semester, the assembly spoke about finals week stress-relieving activities and voted on the student activities fee for the upcoming school year.
Budget Allocations Committee
Vice president of finance, Greg Gorman, addressed two club representatives present at the meeting from Mini Baja. The club, which was present at the previous meeting to request money for their conference, sent underclassmen members for a possible appeal for more money.
Mini Baja is a club open to all students interested in building a car from scratch in order to put its’ construction to the test at a nationwide competition.
The club was already granted the $2,000 after an assembly vote from the previous meeting, however the team’s appeal would grant them more money in order to allow next year’s team leaders a chance to attend the competition with the senior leaders.
“This is a little bit different than a normal conference […] We did hand them the full amount of $2,000 which is our maximum so we will look at our budget currently and do what we can to hopefully get [Mini Baja] there,” said Bishop.
For next year, there are eight people on the team and three team leaders.
Bishop and Gorman told the underclassmen representing Mini Baja they would take their appeal into consideration, especially since the team has placed in the top 100 for many years in a row, beating out top technical colleges and universities despite having a smaller team and budget.
There was no further information given as to whether or not the underclassmen would submit an appeal to the executive board.
Although vice president of social life, Adam Genners, was not present at the meeting, Bishop spoke about his last event of the year on his behalf.
Jasper Olympics, which was originally scheduled for April 14 in Draddy Gymnasium was rescheduled due to participation numbers and nicer weather.
The new time, date and location has been rescheduled for Friday, May 4, at 3 p.m. on the quad.
“We’re hoping to get more participation based on the fact that it’ll now be held during a warm day on the quad,” said Bishop.
“Hopefully students get involved when they get out of classes since it’s the last day. It should be exciting […] It’s going to be on the quad, which means it’s going to be smaller. We did get rid of some of the events but we still wanted to have it because it hasn’t really gotten of the ground in the past years. Getting it off the ground is our goal here.”
She also addressed concerns about it being the same day as Spring Fling, the annual dinner cruise around the Hudson River. Bishop is expecting people to help out for about two and a half hours which would allow them to still have time to make the bus for Spring Fling.
Bishop wrapped up the social life announcements mentioning to wish Genners well after his recent injury from a baseball game.
Vice president of residential affairs, Patrick Estanbouli, spoke next about the upcoming finals week stress relieving activities. His big idea for this semester is a “coupon book” that students can use at local and on-campus vendors.
After speaking to Brian Weinstein, resident district manager of Gourmet Dining at Manhattan College, Estanbouli said they are expecting coupons from him to add to the book.
Coupon books are expected to be handed out on Sunday, May 6 in the Internet Cafe area of the O’Malley Library.
“We’re thinking about printing about 100 to 250 and we’ll be handing them out in the Internet Cafe area. We’re also reaching out to CMSA and other clubs and see if they’ll donate fair trade chocolates or old t-shirts from past events that way we can purge out any t-shirts that were over ordered,” said Estanbouli.
Students are to be advised that the books will be first-come, first-serve.
Food Service Committee
Anna Rosario, chairperson of the food service committee, spoke about recent additions to food locations on campus, including the “Impossible Burger” in Cafe 1853, which was recommended by assembly member Ryan Kwiecinski.
“It’s a plant-based veggie burger but it actually cooks and tastes like a regular burger. It’s really good. I’ve had it at home before and that’s why I suggested it,” said Kwiecinski.
“We got [the Impossible Burger] really fast. [Brian Weinstein] has been really accommodating and he fixes things fairly quickly,” said Rosario.
She mentioned that to Weinstein that the lids to the salad dressing in Locke’s Loft had been broken for some time and the lids were changed the next day.
Rosario then spoke about complaints towards the Starbucks in Kelly Commons closing earlier than what is listed online during the weekends.
“It was brought to my attention and I passed it along to him and he said he wasn’t aware of it, so he’s going to be addressing that with the people who work there,” said Rosario.
Issues were brought up such as Cafe 1853 running out of food for students during the last Accepted Students’ Day as well as Locke’s closing at 10 a.m. during Spring Fest, which was not advertised and left students without food for two hours until the BBQ on the quad started at noon.
The idea of guest meal swipes was also mentioned. These meal swipes would be allowed for any resident’s guest. According to an FSC member, Isabel Quinones, Weinstein might plan to test the idea out in the fall, allowing resident’s a single guest meal swipe.
Weinstein plans to work with residence life and the identification card office to get this idea off of the ground.
Rosario wrapped up her announcements encouraging students to come to her with any concerns before the semester ends or with any ideas for the fall semester.
“If you have anything you want to be implemented not for this semester, but definitely next semester, please email me and I’ll pass any ideas along to Brian,” said Rosario
Next, two representatives from the Information Technology Solutions (ITS) office gave a presentation about the new wireless printing feature for Manhattan College students.
Richard Musal, director of client services and operations within the office of ITS, introduced the wireless printing to the members of the assembly.
Students must be on campus in order to print wirelessly and can access this feature through webprint.manhattan.edu. Musal encourages students to print things out shortly before they get there rather than hours in advance in case someone throws it away between the time a student sends it to print to the time they pick their paper up,
To read more information about the wireless printing feature, see the article titled “Printing Made Easier at MC with Wireless Access.”
As Musal explained to the assembly how the wireless access works, Bishop addressed concerns of paper waste.
“It is a concern but we felt like the access and convenience overall was worth the risk,” said Musal.
He spoke about the implementation of Papercut, which is the countdown students see when printing pages on campus computers. The 1,000 page limit, which resets via a survey if a student prints 1,000 pages during a semester, was added around four years ago.
According to Musal, the library saw a drastic cutdown in paper waste. He believes the wireless printing will not affect that.
Before he left, he spoke briefly about other features offered by the ITS office, such as Labseat. As finals approach, he encourages to check Labseat before making the trek to the library, in case all of the labs are full. He also advised students to subscribe to the office’s blog at itsblog.manhattan.edu, which posts helpful tips and announcements involving Jasper Net.
Finally, he introduced his colleague Anita McCarthy, an ITS training coordinator, who touched on a new feature the office will be working on during the summer.
“With fifteen rooms total, we’re replacing the Apple TVs with something called a Kramer Via Go. It’s cross-platform. For Apple devices it works exactly the same via Airplay […] for Windows it has an app that is free. And Chrome OS works on an Android,” said Musal.
McCarthy will oversee the training for faculty and staff for this new technology in the next school year.
Student Activities Fee Vote
Perhaps the most important part of the meeting was the vote for the student activities fee raise. The vote was different from in the past, as this year some of the money would be going towards the new Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center. However, Bishop made it clear to the assembly that they were not voting on the center but rather the activities fee as a whole.
An important catch of this is a promise made by Richard Satterlee, vice president of student life, that $10,000 will be going towards student government’s budget to give back to the clubs and student events.
“We have a vote this afternoon, we’ve pushed it back a few times but it’s very exciting stuff. […] What we are voting on is a $10 increase in the [student] activities fee,” said Bishop.
“Now that $10 is approximately $34,000, which is an estimate. So out of that, there is going to be about $24,000 will be going to the operating budget of the [Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center].”
“Because we brought up our own concerns about our operating budget, [Richard Satterlee, vice president of student life] is willing, and we have it in writing, to give $10,000 allocated to the student government budget. This will hopefully, to the discretion of the incoming executive board, go into the club section so we can continue accepting clubs.”
Bishop spoke about assembly member’s concerns of a graduate assistant and faculty advisor, which Satterlee has told Bishop that a stipend will be coming from the Provost’s office and not the student activities budget since it is a salaried job that does not have anything to do with students.
But Bishop also brought up something that caused turmoil within the assembly about the student government’s role in the vote.
“If we vote this down, keep it in mind that student government might not even see that raise. Technically, yes, the student government has the ability to raise the student activities fee but according to the [student government] constitution, this all comes down to the discretion of the vice president of student life,” said Bishop.
This caused upset for some members, who saw the $10,000 budget raise as a bribe.
“Whether or not we vote on raising the fee up or down, it is unclear if student government will see that $10,000 if we were to vote it down,” said Bishop.
“If we vote it down, it seems like we are saying we are fine with our budget and don’t need any more help.”
Mourikes spoke up in order to calm down the assembly.
“What’s obvious here is that they are creating a new center and it’s out of our control […] Understand that our roles here are as the students. […] If they feel like our campus needs [this center], fine. If we disagree, we have a voice and can make that heard,” said Mourikes.
Some assembly members also mentioned that students had no idea that student government voted on this matter and were upset to hear the possibility of a raise. Bishop then addressed this issue as well.
“When this is communicated forward, I think that we need to make it clear to the student body is that the activities fee is genuinely for the purpose of student life and the kind of things that student government does but also the clubs and different events on campus. That usually goes to the discretion of this office and this body,” said Bishop. These events include Quadchella and Spring Fest.
Estanbouli recommended any other concerns or comments be addressed on the ballots for the vote. The voting members took the ballots after taking into consideration the issues with the fee increase and Mourikes counted them, an
nouncing the results at the end of the meeting.
Ultimately, the assembly voted 17 in favor of the $10 increase and 5 voted not in favor.
Wrapping up, senior class vice president and junior class vice president, Ryan Quattromani and Liam Moran respectively, brought to the assembly some amendments to the constitution. Amending the constitution is reserved for the end of the school year.
Both representatives had accidentally proposed similar amendments, however Moran’s language was different within his proposal.
Overall, the two were requesting for the Neighborhood Relations Committee (NRC) chairperson position to be legitimized within the student government constitution. Currently, the NRC exists as an ad hoc, meaning it is “for one purpose only.”
Quattromani presented his case since he was the one who created the committee and the chairperson position during his years at MC.
Moran had a problem with the language used in the proposal.
“The main difference I have with the proposition is the wording when it comes to [Quattromani’s proposal about a chairperson for the NRC]. Chairpersons do exist, they are not a separate entity or member and the language here is creating a separate entity or member. So I changed the language in my proposal,” said Moran.
However, the motion to accept Moran’s change was not seconded.
Due to time constraints, assembly member Kerry Cavanaugh motioned for a vote by acclamation, in which present assembly members would raise their hand rather than voting on paper. Quattromani’s was then voted on and approved by the rest of the assembly.
Moran had another amendment proposal that Bishop quickly reviewed. In summary, Moran was proposing for the long standing positions of commuter representative and resident representative also be appointed within the student government constitution.
Currently, the class representatives and school representatives are the only positions listed within the constitution. The rest of the assembly positions are appointed at the discretion of the current executive board.
Another vote by acclamation was taken and the proposal was passed, allowing the two representative positions to be included in the constitution.
With final remarks, vice president of academic affairs, Kaitlyn Von Runnen, thanked the executive board for their work within student government since it was their final meeting.
“I want to thank the executive board and the members who are seniors this year for everything they did. I think Pat [Maurer] and I will definitely miss you all and all of the hard work you did. You really led us the way for our past three years and the rest of your fellow classmates who I think I speak on behalf of the entire assembly. We’re really going to miss you and appreciate everything you’ve done,” said Von Runnen.
Moran then stood and gave his own thanks, finishing his remarks as Bishop’s friend and former student government member Mike Szczech entered the room with a birthday cake for Bishop, whose birthday was that day.
Student government assembly meetings will resume in the fall semester under the Cooper administration.