Ghost of Lyons Hall Haunts Senate
By Jon Dusza, Managing Editor
The most recent meeting of the Undergraduate Student Association (USA) senate was gaveled into session at 2:34 on Friday, Oct. 20.
In it, senators discussed the ramifications of the decision of the school not to return to Lyons Hall, the dining hall “Clean Plate” initiative and other issues at Canisius.
The meeting began with a spirited discussion on the topic of this establishment’s (The Griffin) front page article last week, discussing President Stoute’s State of the University address, particularly the parts regarding the institution’s decision not to return to Lyons Hall. The first topic that was discussed regarding Lyons was the fate of the parking lots there, to which USA President Hudson replied that parking at Lyons in the future “won’t be a concern.” Hudson added, “As of now, there are no official plans about what will happen in the future” of Lyons. Therefore, it is unknown if the college will do anything like sell the building or tear it down, as some in the general student body have suggested.
Speaker Faas asked about the state of the contractor lot in front of Lyons Hall, which is taking parking spots that have, in years past, been reserved for residents of the Village Townhouses. Since the contractors will no longer be needed, the state of those parking spots is being discussed by the parking committee, according to President Hudson. Additionally, Public Safety is not enforcing parking restrictions in those particular spots.
To wrap up the conversation about Lyons, Senator DeGlopper asked what would happen to the departments which were based in Lyons Hall, to which Hudson replied that the affected departments will relocate to different parts of campus.
In the executive report section of the meeting, President Hudson touched back on Lyons Hall, saying that if members of the senate had a lot of questions about the building, he would see if President Stoute would attend a senate meeting and answer questions. Nothing concrete has come of that yet, but if something does, rest assured that The Griffin will have coverage.
Hudson also reiterated President Stoute’s point that moving on from Lyons Hall is an opportunity to invest in other parts of campus. One specific example he talked about was providing laptops to every student at Canisius.
The last item addressed in the executive reports was an appeal from the Afro-American Society for their Halloween event. As Vice President of Business and Finance Kaderli presented the appeal on a projector screen, three separate people doggedly struggled to turn off the lights in the room so that the group could read the screen easier. The appeal was approved unanimously and in about half of the time that it took to turn the lights off. Thankfully, senators were much more successful in turning the lights back on.
During cabinet reports, JUSTICE Chair Brar brought up an upcoming event on Nov. 2 in the library to foster a discussion about the Israel-Palestine conflict — needless to say, a relevant and difficult topic.
Sustainability Chair Fontana spoke about the dining hall’s Clean Plate initiative, which encourages students not to waste food. At this, Senator Harrington brought up the possibility that students being encouraged to prioritize finishing their plate could negatively impact those with eating disorders. His comment spurred a spirited conversation in the open discussion part of the meeting, during which the general consensus among senators was that more of a focus should be placed on the sustainability aspect of the initiative, rather than on eating all of the food on one’s plate.
Next up after cabinet reports were liaison reports. Dining hall Liaison Akil brought up the new commuter meal plan, which would provide commuters with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Akil also said that shortages of eggs and iced capps at Tim Horton’s were being addressed. Library Liaison Riley talked about the library’s efforts to check for insensitivity in books that it has. Public Safety Liaison Hackett brought up three events that Public Safety will be hosting in the future: a crime safety and prevention seminar, a women’s defense seminar and coffee with a cop. Senators asked about the ongoing controversy regarding Public Safety and their not escorting students around campus. That issue has been covered extensively in previous editions of The Griffin; those interested in more specifics can look there. In terms of new information, Hackett told the senate that Public Safety posted a job on Handshake for a student-held position which tasks the student in that position with escorting their peers around campus.
Next, the senate voted on the Muslim Student Association’s newly proposed constitution, which passed without objection. Following that was the open discussion regarding Dining Hall’s Clean Plate initiative which was recapped earlier. The meeting was adjourned at 3:34 p.m. The USA Senate will meet next on Friday, Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m.