Last week in senate
By: Jon Dusza and Ava C. Green
The Undergraduate Student Association (USA) senate met twice over the last two weeks to discuss issues around Canisius University. While last Friday’s meeting was mostly uneventful in the eyes of The Griffin, the meeting of the Friday before was not.
In a room that was set up with about a dozen separate round tables, rather than the usual giant, connected table, the Oct. 6 session of the USA senate was gaveled into session at 2:34. It was the first senate meeting for this year’s first-year senators and the first meeting for USA’s liaisons to different parts of the campus. Dr. Jonathan Lawrence, president of the faculty senate, was also present.
Official business began as the liaisons raised general student concerts. While nothing concrete was revealed among the concerns, USA President Jahare Hudson said that he would bring up the concerns voiced to the proper authorities.
Next, the senate welcomed Vice President of Business and Finance Tim Balkin to answer questions from the senators.
The first issue Balkin addressed was the parking situation on campus. He said that about 100 spots have been opened up on campus now that Catholic Health, which used to have offices here, has left. On the topic of parking, Balkin was asked why faculty and staff should pay for parking, since it is the school who is asking them for their services. Balkin, in short, replied that it is standard practice for colleges in general to charge employees for parking and that Canisius’s parking payments are small compared to other schools. Balkin also added that maintaining parking lots costs “more than you’d expect.” On the topic of maintaining parking lots, Balkan said he would see to it that Lyons Hall continues to be plowed, despite the fact that the building itself is defunct. Describing the parking situation in general, Balkin quoted the movie “Argo,” saying, “This is the best bad decision we have, sir, by far.”
USA Vice President of Business and Finance Gabby Kaderli asked about the dining hall’s inconvenient weekend hours, to which Balkin replied that he was not informed on that particular issue but would bring it up to the proper authorities.
Kaderli also raised concerns about faculty and staff feeling left out at events around campus. Dr. Lawrence jumped in and explained that events are paid for by students, which accounts for some of that feeling, but he also noted that new efforts are being made to get faculty involved in those events.
In the executive report part of the session, President Hudson brought up a change in policy regarding metro passes for Canisius students. Moving forward, metro passes will apply for the whole year, rather than the month-to-month basis which they currently run on. More information about the system change will be relayed to the student body in the future.
Hudson also informed the USA that the possibility of allowing graduate student representation in the senate is back on the table.
During liaison reports, Dining Services Liaison Leyla Akil said that the dining hall recognizes that Chartwells cannot change its schedule, but they will still do what they can to make the dining hall better. Akil also relayed that dining services urges students to fill out the surveys they send out, since they cannot solve a problem if they do not know about it. Additionally, Akil announced that dining services is working on creating a smoothie lab on campus.
After that, the senate voted on a resolution to be sent to Canisius which expresses the USA’s desire to be included in the process of planning the academic calendar, citing the inconvenience of last year’s spring semester, in which students endured 12 straight weeks of school without a break. The resolution passed overwhelmingly and to resounding applause.
The session finished with an open discussion, mainly surrounding Public Safety’s recent announcement that they will no longer escort students around campus at late hours. In short, USA was told that Public Safety does not have the resources to continue the program. This issue was covered in the previous (Oct. 6) edition of The Griffin, so those who desire more information on the subject should refer to that edition.