by Gabriella DePinho, News Editor
The Student Government Assembly held their third meeting of the semester in Jasper Lounge on Feb. 20, where they discussed the lift on the new club freeze, updates to the academic integrity policy and attendance at athletic events, among other topics.
New Club Process Restarting
President Jaycie Cooper reported the Club Oversight Committee updates for Vice President of Club Affairs, Haley Nightingale, who could not attend the meeting. Cooper announced that starting in Fall 2019, Student Engagement will be lifting the freeze on accepting new clubs and was transparent with the assembly as to what the process would be.
“There are very tight parameters with this because we don’t want this to affect clubs in any negative way. We don’t want clubs to have to take a hit across the board like they did with the club rowing. Our process is that we have a couple of clubs that are inactive with pretty big budgets and so we are going to use a process to replace the clubs that have gone inactive and have been inactive for over a year,” said Cooper.
“We have the requests that have been submitted over the years, we still have those. Some of these were submitted over two years ago so we’ll have to gauge the interest and see if it’s still there,” said Cooper. “The COC will go through the submissions and we will vote on them at the next assembly meeting.”
She assured the assembly that clubs will not take another hit and that the student activities fee would not be raised without being discussed and voted on.
Overnight Parking Updates
Isabel Quinones, Vice President of Residential Affairs, reported on the changes to overnight parking, which will go into effect on July 1 and which turned out to be a hot topic of discussion.
“Basically, they’re capping overnight parking. This year Public Safety sold 160 spaces and next year they’re only going to be selling 140 so they’re going to be freeing up 20 spots. They’re going to be sold by academic seniority,” said Quinones.
“The second thing is they’re going to try and eliminate overnight employee parking because currently there are employees that park overnight and that’s becoming an issue because now we lost 70 spots in [Leo’s parking lot] because of the new construction so we need those spots. Third, they’ll be selling overnight parking to resident students only because they’ve been having the issue of resi-commuters that have moved off campus but live in the area and are still buying passes … If you’re moving off campus that’s something you lose priority to,” said Quinones.
The community parking program requires the college to allot 50 spaces to community members, which cannot be touched in order for the college to get state funding for the garage. Students who live within the community and whose cars are registered to the area’s zip code are welcome to apply for those spots. She also reported that the college is looking into ways to better collect data on how crowded campus lots get and at what times of way so they can better mitigate the problems of campus parking.
Educational Affairs Committee Updates
Kerry Cavanagh reported on the EAC updates. She started out with a discussion on the commencement survey, which was sent out to the class of 2020 on Feb. 18, prompting a discussion on the location of next year’s graduation ceremony.
She also reported on updates about the changes that will be made to the Academic Integrity policy.
“The basis of it is that we’ll have a three point system. Three points being you’re out, you’re expelled. The one point violations include cheating, plagiarism, fabrication or academic misconduct when, in the opinion of the instructor, the student’s actions constitute a violation of academic integrity that cannot be dismissed as a result of inexperience and yet do not rise to the level of premeditation or collaboration involved in two point. Between one and two point, the big difference is premeditation,” said Cavanagh.
“Three point violations are the most serious. These consist of instances that involve cheating, plagiarism, fabrication or academic misconduct when the student’s actions represent a blatant disregard or disrespect for the expectations of academic integrity. They involve substantial planning, premeditation and/or collaboration. They may involve criminal activity and will more than likely involve clear dishonest or malicious intent.”
She confirmed that the discussions of the acuteness of the language are still ongoing, separate point violations do, in fact, add up, students can appeal these charges and that there will be a warning for something that could be accredited to inexperience.
Kaitlyn Von Runnen, a member of the EAC for the past two years, confirmed that this new policy is something the school has been working on for quite some time and that when it is unveiled to the school community, is something that will be upheld. She encouraged assembly members to get involved with the EAC to talk with their constituents and give their feedback on the changes.
Other Committee Updates
The Budget Allocations Committee did not have an allocation to vote on but there is a request the committee is in the process of reviewing and will bring before the assembly at a future meeting.
Anna Rosario, Vice President for Commuter Affairs, then announced that the Commuter Student Association’s “Bridging the Gap” workshop will be on March 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. She encouraged members to spread the word to their constituents and that the event is for both residents and commuters.
Cooper reported on the Neighborhood Relations Committee Luncheon, which had about 50 attendees. For more coverage of this annual event, go to page 2.
Attendance at Athletics Events
Cooper reminded the assembly of the men’s basketball game that would be taking place Friday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. with a free T-shirt giveaway, which launched a discussion about the lack of attendance at athletic events.
“Athletics is experiencing a problem that they wanted us to discuss. People come before the game to get the giveaways and leave before halfway through the game. I just wanted to open the floor to discussion if you guys have any ideas of how to maintain attendance throughout the entire game,” said Cooper.
Assembly members came up with a variety of ideas such as making the giveaways further in instead of right by the door, giving them out just right before the game starts, changing advertising tactics giving them out during half time or throughout the game.
“They’re spending a ton of money to try to get us to these games and get excited and it’s for us, it’s not for them or any of their wellbeing but to get our school spirit hot. We need representatives to pave the way to show that you should be there and stay for the game and support the teams,” said Cavanagh.
In discussion about what would make the assembly members stay at the game, discussion arose about bridging the gap between athletes and other students.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people – faculty – who go to the women’s games and they say they go because they want to support the players as individuals but unfortunately a lot of people don’t feel the same way about the men’s team,” said Von Runnen.
Discussions about ways to familiarize students with athletic teams’ members to encourage attendance sprung up.
“I feel like if you’re getting an understanding of them as a human being and a personal perspective, you’re not just going to be like ‘oh this is just some basketball player’ but do you think that getting students to know the players on a more personal level will make people want to come out to the games more because there are a lot of new players and people don’t know them,” said Vice President of Social Life Casey Monroe.
Suggestions of having an athletic representative at assembly meetings, getting athletes attend to more events on campus, such as coffeehouses, and having players running the team social media accounts so students can get to know them, among other ideas.
Cavanaugh announced the next Alumni Society meeting will be on April 27 and that students are welcome to attend.
Kaitlyn Von Runnen will be sending out a survey to education majors to get feedback about students’ fieldwork experience to hopefully present it to the faculty for the school to work with. There will also be a survey later in the year for students to give feedback about their overall experience.
The meeting was then adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday March 6 at noon.