With a round of applause, the Plattsburgh State Student Association welcomed two new Board of Elections members and three new associate justices to their posts at the Feb. 9 Executive Council meeting, but it was business as usual as the Council debated revisions to the Student Outreach Policy and an executive by-law.
Freshman biology major Trevor Typhair was approved as the new Board of Elections chairperson. Typhair will replace former BOE Chairperson Adam Saccardi, who now serves as the chief justice of the SA’s judicial branch.
Typhair plans to attend medical school after getting his undergraduate degree from PSUC. A second member of the Board, Dorian Yablin, was also unanimously approved by the Council. Yablin is a senior majoring in geography and also plans to attend medical school.
Following the BOE member approvals, the three new associate justices — James Kennedy, Kyle Chapman and Sean Levy — addressed the Council alongside Saccardi.
Both Chapman, who was previously speaker of the Senate, and Levy, who served under Saccardi, have experience reviewing and passing legislation.
Though he has no previous experience on the SA, Kennedy said this is an opportunity for him to get to know more of the campus community.
“I believe I can be both unbiased and impartial,” Kennedy said.
All three were unanimously approved, and Saccardi spoke on their behalves, noting he is completely “confident in their abilities.”
Although the new members were welcomed without any resistance, the Student Outreach Policy approval was not as cut and dry. Under President Clayton, the SA has stressed its desire to become more involved in the campus community.
The Student Outreach Policy, if approved, would require each SA member to speak with at least five students per week and report on their discussions at the weekly Council or Senate meeting. Failure to report on student outreach for two weeks would result in a hearing referral to the SA’s judicial branch.
“I realize (the policy) is harsh,” Clayton said, “but it is an easy policy to conform to.”
Because the judicial referral would essentially be an impeachment trial, and impeachment is a decision made by the Senate, other Council members expressed interest in different solutions.
Vice President Jessica Rappaport suggested that a meeting between the SA president and Senate speaker would be more effective. Unclear wording prevented the policy from being approved, and it was removed from the table until adjustments can be made.
Executive By-Law No. 1, which would create a three-member council whose job would be to revise the SA constitution, was also a hot-button issue at last Monday’s meeting.
The three members would include a senator, a vice president and the committee’s chairperson. As the by-law is written, all three members would have a vote due to the council’s small size.
Rappaport was at the forefront of the resistance to the by-law, suggesting that the committee add a voting member at large as opposed to having the committee’s chairperson cast a vote in order to prevent conflicts of interest. Executive Vice President Dutta expressed agreement with Rappaport.
As a result, President Clayton suggested that the by-law be rewritten to include a member at large.
The SA office is located on the second floor of the Angell College Center, in between the Alumni Conference Room and Cardinal Lounge. The Executive Council meets every Monday at 10:15 p.m., while the Senate meets every Wednesday at 10:15 p.m.
Email Thomas Marble at firstname.lastname@example.org