Student Government Holds Last Assembly Meeting Before Spring Break

by Gabriella DePinho, News Editor

On Wednesday, March 6, Student Government hosted its fourth assembly meeting of the semester in which they discussed dining concerns, committee updates and other miscellaneous subjects.

Nick Valinotti, Gourmet Dining

Manhattan College’s head of Gourmet Dining, Nick Valinotti, was in attendance at the meeting and was there to give updates and receive feedback from the student body.

Valinotti commented on the fact that a student found a bug in their food in the last week and said the student has been identified and reached out to but has not responded to Gourmet Dining.

Valinotti shared that Gourmet Dining has an anonymous tip line in which students are able to ask questions and share comments or concerns that the staff will respond to as promptly as possible. Students are encouraged to share suggestions or requests.

Valinotti commented on some student concerns he has heard.

“I know that some students feel that the menu during lunch time hasn’t been that great. We’re working on redoing our menu matrixes and I just ask that you give me a little bit of time and hopefully within the next week, you’ll see a little bit of a difference,” said Valinotti. “We’re bringing spices to home kitchen because that was a suggestion so that will be there tomorrow.”

He continued.

“As you know the dish machine went down, we’re doing our best. It’s more of a facilities issue but we are making strides to become more aware of our carbon footprint. Right now we have six inch plates that are made out of sugar cane fiber and they’re completely compostable,” said Valinotti.

In addition, Kelly Commons Marketplace has moved towards cardboard straws and wooden stirrers.

He also informed the student body about the availability of the dietitian’s services if students have dietary needs due to allergies or religious practices that need to be accommodated for.

Some students then stood up and raised some concerns about food quality. Valinotti listened to them and then asked if they would be available to meet outside of the assembly meeting so they can discuss their concerns further.

Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center Presentation

Students involved with and who work for the LWGRC then came forward to give a presentation to the assembly about what the center has been up to and what they are looking to do as they move forward.

“We are a space on campus that helps connect and see to the different resources that students may need. We connect students to different things with their health and identity, whether that be getting to health services where there are free STD and pregnancy tests, whether that be connecting moms on campus to different opportunities and resources both academic and extracurricular, right now with the MOM museum in the library and we also provide partnership and resources to and for clubs to have events and different experiences for their own teams,” said senior Reilly Love Rebhahn, who works at the center.

She continued.

“We’ve done events like Love in the Dark and Discussion and Donuts, which is a regular thing now, student-led panels, such as the recent one on intersectionality… Peace and Justice Week events, Transgender Awareness Week events…” said Rebhahn.

The center is looking to sponsor and facilitate paid summer research on Lasallian feminism.

Budget Allocations Committee Updates

The BAC had two budget allowances for the assembly to vote on.

The Government and Politics Club requested money for a club trip to Boston for members to learn more about the historical relevance of the city to the history of the country. The BAC decided to allot $1700 to the club for their lodging, which the assembly then voted on and approved.

Vice President of Finance, Ryan Kwiesincki, abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest.

Kwiesincki also shared that the ASCE was not able to go to the conference that the assembly had voted to allot them funds for due to weather. As a result, the BAC has more funds to work with this semester than originally anticipated.

The second vote was for AiCHe to go to a Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference at Penn State University. The students are participating in the Chem-E Car contest, in which they build a car from scratch that operates on chemical reactions and a stopping mechanism based on the same reactions. The conference also serves as a networking event with a small career fair and seminars.

AiCHe requested $1700 which the assembly approved in a unanimous vote.

Other Committee Updates

Hayley Nightingale, VP of Club Affairs, announced that clubs are currently going through the application process as the moratorium was lifted. The due date for applications is March 15. Please turn to page insert page here for further coverage on this.

Anna Rosario, VP of Commuter Affairs, announced that the Social Life Committee needs volunteers for the day of Spring Fest and that though the announcement was made, there are still a few more surprises.

Rosario also announced that Commuter Appreciation Day will be celebrated on April 30th and the day’s events will be carnival themed. The CSA is also planning a commuter field trip for either April 5 or 12 to go bowling at New Roc City which will be opened to commuters first and residents second if there are still spots open. She also announced that on March 14, Locke’s Loft will be open to commuters for free to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Isabel Quinones reminded assembly members to sign up for Dorm Wars and to encourage their constituents to sign up as well.

Kerry Cavanagh shared the Educational Affairs Committee updates. The committee is still working on the academic integrity policy changes. The committee also discussed that the library is looking to maximize study spaces; she asked the assembly to share any ideas and suggestions.

She also announced that Jake Holmquist, the Chief Information Officer, confirmed that webprint will allow students to print double-sided starting shortly after spring break.

Cavanagh shared that changes to the finals schedule to eliminate Saturday finals will hopefully go into effect for Fall 2019. However, classes that normally meet on Saturdays can still expect to see Saturday exams.

Snow Closure Announcement Discussion

The assembly also discussed the issue of the timing of snow delay and closure announcements.

“The time that [the announcements] do go out, that Provost Clyde shared, is 5:15 but I have seen things around that people are upset that that’s too late,” said Cavanagh.

This launched a brief discussion in which commuter students raised their concerns.

“As someone who is on the road at 5 o’clock in the morning, that’s too late,” said Rabea Ali, a School of Business Vice President. “The night before isn’t realistic but 4, 4:30, something like that, at that point, the hour isn’t going to change drastically how much snow is on the ground.”

Liam Moran, a commuter and assembly member chimed in.

“I think 4:30 is as close to midnight as we’re going to get because 4:30 still allows us to have an influence in terms of planning the day. You are getting people early enough that if they are up or if they do wake up around that time, you can reach them when they’re not on the road, whereas at 5, you do have people who are commuting from Brooklyn who are on the trains already and that’s a big problem because trains don’t have good cell service… so you don’t necessarily get the notification until you’re already at 125th street or Dyckman street,” said Moran.

Stephen Zubrucky, a School of Engineering Vice President, recommended that the school take on a policy that when the New York City schools close, Manhattan College should also close, to help the faculty and staff of the college whose children go to the NYC public schools.

Commencement Survey Updates

Cavanagh shared that 32 percent of the class of 2020 responded to the survey, which was not nearly as high as a response rate as they were hoping for, but was better than what the survey response originally was.

She announced that of the students that responded, students feel the number of tickets was most important and that commencement being on campus was the least important.

These survey results will be taken into account when planning commencement for the class of 2020.

Miscellaneous Topics

The executive board announced that there will be reusable plastic cups with a college logo on it that local delis have agreed to use for iced coffee. The board is looking for good ways to hand out these cups to make sure students who will actually use them will be the ones to get them, rather than give them to students who won’t end up using them.

Locke’s Loft, in conjunction with JustPeace, is also looking to collect unused mugs to have reusable mugs available in the dining hall for those who want to drink coffee or other hot beverages while sitting down for a meal. The executive board will also be ordering some mugs with the same logo to donate to this initiative.

President Jaycie Cooper announced that senior week is almost completely planned and that seniors should be on the lookout for more information about that coming out in early April.

Chief Justice Anthony DePinho announced that Student Court will be hosting its first open meeting on Tuesday, March 26 at 1 p.m. in Kelly 4B.

Cooper announced that the SGA will be partnering with the International Student Association for International Night will be on April 26 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and will be a semi-formal event. Event organizers are currently searching for performers so students are encouraged to reach out if they are interested.