This Week in Senate
By: Jon Dusza, Managing Editor and Ava C. Green, Editor in Chief
The Undergraduate Student Association (USA) senate met Friday, Nov. 3 for their weekly meeting.
The meeting was gaveled into session at 2:34 p.m. After general student concerns were asked for, and none given, the senate welcomed Shana Richardson, the director of the New Buffalo Institute (NBI) at Canisius, to talk to the senate about the institute. Richardson spoke about the purpose of the NBI: to forge deeper connections between Canisius and the Buffalo community and empower Canisius students to do the same. She also spoke about the benefits of Canisius students getting involved in the community and the need for Canisius to make positive impacts beyond mere symbolic, self-satisfying gestures; rather, she highlighted community involvement that centers around tangible, solid improvements.
Next, Canisius Athletic Director Bill Maher spoke to the senate and answered questions about the athletic department. Maher reiterated the importance of athletics that President Stoute has talked about in his “Answer the Call” initiative and described using athletics as a means to improve the institution.
Vice President of Business and Finance (VPBF) Kaderli undertook a long line of questioning toward Maher regarding the athletic department shouldering a portion of the expenses spent to engage non-athletes at Canisius with the athletic department, things like the MAAC trip in the spring. Kaderli cited the fact that these events are extremely expensive and that the money takes away from funding that could be distributed to other organizations. Maher responded that the status quo was the best that the athletic department could do, citing a lack of resources to spend more money. Maher expressed that he is grateful for the support the USA has given to athletics, and he acknowledged the helpful communications between the USA and the athletic department.
Next, the senate moved onto executive reports. VPBF Kaderli spoke to the senate about the need to find a new VPBF next semester in anticipation of Kaderli’s spring abroad. The student body was emailed about this during the week in more detail.
President Hudson’s report began with a moment of silence for all victims of injustice and war in the world, especially poignant in these tumultuous times. After that, Hudson relayed relevant information that came from his meeting with President Stoute, particularly about what will be done with Lyons Hall. The school, per Hudson, is working on raising money in order to build the school’s own centralized location for student activity, which would include a theater, considering the former theater was located inside Lyons. Stoute also plans to use the money from a Lyons Hall settlement to improve the current campus, specifically mentioning that he does not plan to buy more real estate for the university.
During the cabinet report section of the meeting, Sustainability Chair Fontana highlighted the next campus cleanup, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. She also announced that the former Clean Plate Initiative, the name of which sparked controversy in the senate a few weeks ago, has been rebranded to “Food For Thought.” Fontana also announced the “soft opening” of Canisius’s permanent thrift shop.
For liaison reports, Dining Services Liaison Akil gave the only liaison report of the day. She warned that there will be construction in Palisano in the coming weeks, and that students should be able to pay at vending machines on campus by swiping their I.D. Akil confirmed that the vending machines take money from the “Griff Choice” part of a student meal plan, and she referred students with swipe issues to ITS.
With that, the senate voted to adjourn the meeting. In an act of defiance and brazen flex of power, President Hudson vetoed the motion to adjourn. In a stunning rebuttal to the president, the senate overrode the veto, and the meeting finally ended at 3:58 p.m.
The senate will not meet this week. Their next meeting will take place on Nov. 17 at 2:30 p.m.