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Cooper Administration Holds First Student Government Assembly Meeting: Assembly Fills Vacant Seats

by TAYLOR BRETHAUEREditor-in-Chief

Student Government held its first assembly meeting of the school year on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at noon in Kelly 5A. This marked the first time the current administration ran the assembly meeting.

The Cooper administration, which was elected the previous semester, is comprised of the following members: Jaycie Cooper, student body president, Jara Giner, executive vice president, Haley Nightingale, vice president of club administration, Ryan Kwiecinski, vice president of finance, Isabel Quinones, vice president for residential affairs, Anna Rosario, vice president for commuter affairs, Kerry Cavanagh, vice president for academic affairs, Casey Monroe, vice president for social life, and Jack Melanson, vice president of communication.

 Budget Allocations Committee (BAC)

The first point of business was the budget allocations committee. Emily Anderson, a junior, was representing Manhattan College’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). The club intends to send two members and their advisor to the national conference in Austin, Texas in order to maintain their chapter status and also provide networking opportunities. 

Due to the 11.6 percent budget cuts for the 2018-2019 school year, the BAC’s new maximum amount of money that can be allocated for conferences is $1700. Last year, that total was $2000. This was the only time during the meeting that the club budget cuts were directly addressed by any members of the executive board.

Despite voting members of the assembly graduating the previous semester, there was quorum and the request for the club’s conference fees was granted. 

Other Committees and Associations

The Club Oversight Committee (COC), led by Nightingale, is still looking for members. The COC is currently not accepting any new clubs for the duration of the school year. 

“With the position that we’re in right now, we are actually not accepting any new clubs at this time,” said Nightingale. She may have been alluding to the current club budget cuts.

The Social Life Committee (SLC), led by Monroe, is also looking for members. The SLC helps with Manhattan Madness, Springfest and other events on campus including the upcoming Quadchella on Friday, Sept. 14 on the quad.

Representatives for the Food Service Committee (FSC) and Neighborhood Relations Committee (NRC) were needed, after previous student representatives Olivia Siller and Ryan Quattromani, respectively, graduated. Elections were held at the end of the meeting.

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All nine members of the Cooper administration were present at the assembly meeting, from left to right: Monroe, Melanson, Kwiecinski, Cooper, Giner, Nightingale, Cavanagh, Quinones and Rosario. TAYLOR BRETHAUER / THE QUADRANGLE

Cavanagh encouraged first-year students to sign up for the committees as a way to be involved on campus in ways they may not have been before, especially with the SLC.

“It’s a great way for freshman to get their feet wet, see what student government is all about and you can decide what your time commitment is […] I know I did it my freshman year and it really allowed me to figure out my way around student government,” said Cavanagh.

Quinones then spoke about the Resident Student Association (RSA) and her plan on having meetings in every dorm on campus to hear the voices of other students. Rosario also spoke about her upcoming meetings with the Commuter Student Association (CSA). 

Educational Affairs Committee Updates

Cavanagh had the most updates in terms of committees since her first meeting was the day prior. The Educational Affairs Committee (EAC), is comprised of student representatives, faculty member representatives, administrative representatives and college senate representatives. 

Updates through the EAC included the confirmation of nine new concentrations within the School of Science and the alumni room in the library being available to book for faculty during the week before finals for events. Other changes to the library include new carpet on the fifth floor, along with a new layout with more study spaces. 

The library has also discontinued their subscriptions of the print editions of both The New York Times and USA Today and instead will be gaining online access. Information will be sent to students within the coming days, said Cavanagh.

Other updates specifically for freshman included a new Moodle course titled “College 101” with tips such as ways to email professors professionally and maintain their study habits. The recent orientation leaders will also be used as peer advisors or MODs through the new “Manhattan Opens Doors” program. 

Future meetings will cover the revision of the academic integrity policy, the decrease of textbook cost, the honors program and the grade replacement policy. 

Representative Elections

Many spots were available for the assembly due to numerous members graduating last May. Each school has two representatives and each school except for the School of Science, needed one representative.

First was the position of representative for the School of Education and Health. Kaitlyn von Runnen, former vice president of academic affairs, holds one representative spot. Two people ran for this position and Shanice Lyle won. 

For the position of representative for the School of Business, three people ran and Paul Fucao won. Rabea Ali currently holds the other spot.

In the School of Engineering, Stephen Zubrycky holds one representative spot. Three people ran for this position and Henzley Pierre-Louis was elected.

Multiple people ran for the position of representative for the School of Liberal Arts. After all eight nominees spoke, the voting members of the assembly elected Bailey Shaw. The other representative spot is currently held by Julius Benecz.

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Elections for representatives were held at the end of the meeting. A total of eight people ran for the position of School of Liberal Arts representative. Above, the candidates give speeches to the voting assembly. TAYLOR BRETHAUER / THE QUADRANGLE

The School of Science needed both representative positions filled. Running unopposed were Shereen Chaudhry and Cesar Cardenas. 

 

There were still three positions to fill afterwards: alumni society representative, FSC representative and NRC representative. Ellen Farrelly ran unopposed for alumni society representative. Three people ran for FSC representative, with the voting assembly members electing Fatoumata Saho. Lastly, two people ran for NRC representative. Marshall Strawbridge was elected for the position. 

“If you didn’t win an election, please come up after the meeting and sign up for one of our committees. We would love for more people to be involved,” said Cooper.

The best way for first-year students to get involved are freshman representative positions. Students interested should get an application from the Student Engagement office, which is due by Thursday, Sept. 13. Online voting will begin on Thursday, Sept. 20 and end on Friday, Sept. 21, with the two nominees with the most votes being elected to fill the positions.

The minutes were accepted by the assembly and the meeting adjourned.

The next assembly meeting will be Sept. 19 at noon in Kelly 4B.

Editor’s Note: Jack Melanson is news editor for The Quadrangle and Stephen Zubrycky is managing editor for The Quadrangle.

Taylor Brethauer is the current student news representative, a non-voting member of the assembly.

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