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This Week in Senate: Student Engagement Office Asks for Long-Term Support

By Julia Barth and Patrick Healy, Washed-Up Griffin Editors

The Undergraduate Student Association (USA) met for its penultimate meeting of the semester this past Tuesday.

SPB Representative Ben Cordero said that his organization will announce the upcoming celebrity guest speaker on their Instagram on Friday, March 31. The “Petey’s Birthday” event has been rescheduled to April 19 before the women’s lacrosse game.

Sustainability Chair Genevieve Fontana announced her committee’s Earth Week programming would include a planting workshop, a local market in Quad from 4 to 6 p.m., an Earth Week extravaganza celebration, a clothing swap and a community cleanup.

Dining Services Liaison Alyssa Kornacki reported that issues at Tim Hortons, such as undercooked eggs, are to be resolved soon. Next year, the dining hall will be open all day; from 2 to 4 p.m., a time when it is usually closed, at least one station will be open. Projects to be completed by the end of the summer include a revamp of the Global Kitchen station, installation of video monitors for all the menus and bringing in local vendors for the community corner. Other plans include a walkthrough of the Market (new graphics, taking down the wall, bringing in local vendors, a touchless register and new furniture).

USA Advisor and Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Development Jason Francey petitioned the senate to adopt a resolution of long-term support for his office. USA is projected to have a $125,000 surplus from this year’s student activity fee, so Francey said there is money left over to increase student engagement even more.

USA has donated $150,000 to the SELD office to support leadership development programs, the Griffins After Dark program, the Petey Point Store and Family Weekend. $22,000 was spent (mostly on food) to put 154 students through the pre-fall semester leadership conference. $25,000 went toward putting 30 students through the fall leadership retreat, which received 100 percent positive reviews from retreatants. The retreat is planned again for next year. $8,000 was spent to bring two speakers to campus, but “the numbers were bad” for attendance at these.

The Petey Points store cost $27,000, with the most popular items being the portable charger and the Canisius Crocs. Francey said 65 percent of students have swiped into at least one event this semester. $22,000 was spent on Griffins After Dark (GAD), a program designed for students who don’t go out to drink on weekends. Average attendance for these events was 60 students. Family Weekend cost $24,000. Miscellaneous events have totaled $22,000.

The SELD office only receives $25,000 of institutional support from the college. Francey said additional funds from USA would be used to explore a second leadership retreat, expand the Petey Points store and continue to build out the GAD program. Francey asked USA to provide 25 percent of the USA-controlled student activity fee to the SELD office. That would have been about $200,000 under the current student activity fee regime.

The USA unanimously approved Francey’s request.

USA Executive Vice President Jillian Galanti presented her executive board’s proposal to have five core values for USA: communication, empowerment, advocacy, selflessness and teamwork. The senate approved them unanimously.

Student Interests Chair Carlo Mastrodonato asked if cura personalis days off will be readded to the academic calendar for next academic year. President Hudson said he is pushing for that, and he went further in announcing that he is pushing for his position to have input on the academic calendar.

No senate meeting will be held next week.

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