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Student Government Assembly Discusses Student Concerns, Engineering and Surveys

by Gabriella DePinhoNews Editor

On Wednesday, March 27, Student Government held an assembly meeting to discuss club updates and upcoming events.

BAC

After establishing the assembly had quorum at 12:07, Ryan Kwiecinski, Vice President of Finance, called the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) representative forward to discuss their budget allocation request.

Senior Bryan Smyth came up and explained the competition they would be attending was not the national competition but an alternate competition in Raleigh, N.C. The AIAA requested $1510 to take a team of nine people to the competition. The plane that the team is building this year, that meets the AIAA requirements, is a military application, which raised a concern for a member of the assembly. The vote passed with only two members of the assembly voting against the allocation.

Other Committee Updates

The Club Oversight Committee still has to meet to discuss the club proposals and President Jaycie Cooper promised there would be future updates to come.

Casey Monroe, VP of Social Life, announced she would be hosting a Social Life Committee meeting on Thursday, March 28 to start planning for Springfest.

Monroe also reminded the assembly that if anyone had any questions in regards to anything involving student government that they should email the student government email, studentgov@manhattan.edu, instead of contacting assembly members on their personal accounts.

Anna Rosario, VP of Commuter Affairs, reminded the assembly that the CSA would be hosting a commuter field trip to New Roc City. To RSVP, commuters can go to the link tinyurl.com/NewRockRSVP. If not enough commuter students sign up, resident students will be invited to sign up.

President Cooper announced the Neighborhood Relations Committee community cleanup and gardening in Brust Park on April 14. There will be lunch provided for those who come and help out from noon to 1 p.m.

Isabel Quinones, VP of Residential Affairs, reminded the assembly that Dorm Wars would be on Friday, March 29. Read “Horan Hall Wins In Return of Popular Event Dorm Wars” for more coverage of that event.

Quinones also announced that ten white boards were replaced in Horan and Lee and that those have now been put to use.

VP of Academic Affairs Kerry Cavanagh started a discussion about how to best handle parking at commencement. One proposed idea is that each graduate will get one parking ticket for the day of commencement with an assigned parking location.

“The hope is that at least one spot will be guaranteed to you,” said Cavanagh.

Concerns about the need for accessible parking were raised by assembly members and Cavanagh acknowledged the concern. Those with suggestions or concerns are advised to reach out to Cavanagh and the Educational Affairs Committee about these issues.

Henzley Pierre-Louis and Stephen Zubrycky, the School of Engineering VPs, then came forward to share the concerns engineering students had raised to them at their School of Engineering town hall. Some concerns included snow day notifications, which continued an conversation the assembly had at an earlier assembly meeting.

Other concerns raised were more specific to the School of Engineering, including the building the engineering classes are in.

“They said Leo [Engineering Building] is way too hot, even during the summer time,” said Pierre-Louis. “Some people are actually getting sick from how hot the rooms can be. Some people, during tests, they cannot think properly during the exam because of how bad it is.”

The rooms that got the biggest complaints were room 236, the Scala Academy Room, the room next to the Scala Academy Room, the Fischbach Dining room and the girl’s bathroom on the third floor.

Another big complaint is that the engineering classes are heavy on Mondays and Thursdays, with few classes being offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Executive Vice President, Jara Giner, a chemical engineering major chimed in.

“Ours are pretty much only hour and fifteens and only Mondays and Thursdays starting at 12 o’clock,” said Giner.

Louis-Pierre presented some other concerns students had before wrapping up with the assembly moving forward with the agenda.

Presentation From Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Bridget Miller, Steve Celin and Dora Moreira, who work in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, came to talk to the assembly to talk about the surveys they sent out to the school and to hear feedback from the assembly about the surveys they send.

“On our agenda this year, we are doing the Institutional Priorities Survey which is faculty and staff and the Student Satisfaction Inventory that asks a whole lot of questions about how important certain things are to you about campus life and how satisfied you are with them. It’s obvious to me why you want to participate in them and hopefully it’s obvious to you why you should want to,” said Miller.

She continued.

“We’re doing this with faculty and staff as well. We can begin to get a better understanding of where there are disconnects. So where do we think some things are just great and that students are really happy with say parking or maybe not so much,” said Miller. “We can look to see where things are really really important but low satisfaction, those are easy places to look so we can make significant improvements in the student experience.”

Miller explained that the institutional surveys the school sends out are through a third party vendor who aggregates the data anonymously and the school then looks at it in a variety of ways.

The school tries to space out their surveys, such as the Title IX survey, from each other to not wear down student participation but the timing of them ultimately falls under the outside vendor’s control.

Students in the assembly raised their concerns about the number of surveys they are receiving and transparency issues such as where the surveys come from, what their purposes are and how to make the language more inclusive. The representatives from the Office of Institutional appreciated the feedback and welcomed students to come to them and raise concerns.

Women’s Week and Islam Awareness Week

President Cooper announced that Women’s Week kick off would be on March 28 and the week will go until Saturday, April 6. Assembly members were encouraged to attend events.

President Cooper allowed assembly member Rabea Ali to speak on the upcoming Islam Awareness week. Islam Awareness Week starts on Monday, April 10.

“They [Women’s Week and Islam Awareness Week] both share the theme of student activism and advocacy,” said Ali.

At the end of Islam Awareness Week, the Muslim Student Association usually hosts interfaith jummah prayer but this year, they want to do a tribute to the New Zealand Christchurch and the Pennsylvania Tree of Life victims. They are looking to find a way to do a flags on the quad tribute and somehow tie that to their jummah prayer service.

Other Announcements

Cooper announced that Anthony Scaramucci is coming on April 10 but the event will be small as it will be in Hayden 100. The day before Scaramucci comes to campus there will be a campaign panel which two contrasting campaign managers will come to campus to host a panel from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Again, the assembly was reminded that student government is working in conjunction with the International Student Association to help put on their annual International Night event. This year’s event will be a gala on April 26th from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The ISA is still looking for student performers.

The next Senate meeting is April 16 at 3:30 p.m. in the Alumni Room.

The next Student Government Assembly meeting is Wednesday, April 10 at noon.

About Gabriella DePinho (64 Articles)
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