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This week in senate: Come To Believe and chess

By: Jon Dusza and Ava C. Green, Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief

The Canisius Undergraduate Student Association (USA) senate met last Friday, Feb. 2, for their second meeting of the semester.

The meeting, which was gaveled into session at 2:36 p.m., began with a brief discussion during the general student concerns portion of the meeting, where it was addressed that people have not been able to get in contact with clubs via GriffNet. Clubs were urged to check their GriffNets more regularly to stay updated.

Next, the senate welcomed Canisius Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Yvonne Widenor to speak before the body. Widenor spoke about a proposal for a new program on Canisius’s campus. The program of which she spoke would be a part of the national “Come To Believe Network,” an organization whose goal is to provide higher education opportunities for underrepresented groups on a college campus while giving those students a feeling of what it is like on a university campus. 

What a Come To Believe program would entail, Widenor described, would essentially be a new college that would operate on Canisius’s campus. The Come To Believe program would offer two-year degrees to students and would be run primarily by donations, which would cover all the program’s costs and allow students to graduate debt-free. The hope would be, in addition to providing higher education to those who otherwise would not have an opportunity at it, that students who graduate from the two-year programs would choose to stay at Canisius to complete their four-year degrees.

Widenor emphasized that such a program would be completely separate from the university itself, with students enrolled in the Come To Believe program having their own separate dining room and classes, as well as the program’s funding being completely separate from Canisius’s. The only difference Canisius University students would possibly notice, Widenor said, would be increased foot traffic around campus, as the Come To Believe program would be set on Canisius’s property. When asked where Canisius would find the room for such a program, Widenor suggested Lyons Hall, the Wehle Technology Center and/or Health Science, but she noted that no official proposal had been made, and these were just possibilities as she saw them. Widenor said that any student feedback is welcome.

The next order of business after Widenor’s talk was the executive report section of the meeting, which was mostly uneventful. Then came the senate cabinet reports, during which Sustainability Chair Genevieve Fontana said that the Canisius thrift store Griffs Thrifts will be open from 12-4:00 p.m., and its grand opening event will be on Feb. 22 from 5- 7 p.m. in a partnership with the Smoothie Lab, which sits diagonal to the thrift store.

During the liaison report portion of the meeting, the senate briefly discussed the current state of TruBurger, dealing with reported long wait times, hopes for new menu options and the general quality of the food. Dining Services Liaison Akil said she would bring up all those concerns during the next Dining Hall Committee meeting, and that more information will come after that.

The last order of business for the senate occurred during the open discussion portion of the meeting which — after a premature motion for dismissal — assessed whether or not there would be campus-wide interest in a chess club, as well as asking preliminary questions about a potential new app to combat food inequality at Canisius. The meeting was adjourned at 3:18 p.m.

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