By: Aleksandra Sidorova
The Student Association approved new members at its executive and senate meetings Sept. 12 and 14. The SA also granted the club Biketopia “up to $650” to spend on bike parts. A major theme at both meetings was student involvement and building a relationship between the SA and clubs.
Two new senators, Djeneba Sy and Munashe Chikukwa, were unanimously approved and sworn in. The senate also unanimously approved four voting members on the Finance Board and seven voting members on Club and Organization Affairs Board. The candidates, or their representatives in the case they were unable to attend, spoke of wanting to give back to the community and host the activities they could not enjoy in prior years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Coordinator of Clubs and Organizations Deasha Gilmore reported that she has finished training club representatives for their roles. Gilmore said the COAB is working on building a relationship with club members as well as looking forward to increased student involvement. Gilmore said the COAB had a “secret competition” for clubs that participated in the Involvement Fair held Sept. 12. The clubs that had the most decorated booths and interacted the most with attendees would receive a bonus of $100 added to their budgets.
Clubs can also request money for their budgets directly at senate meetings, as did Eirik Lavigne, president of the club Biketopia. Lavigne asked for “up to $650” to spend on bike parts, which would be used to fix the club’s bikes and teach students mechanical skills. Lavigne said about 40 bikes could potentially be repaired this year and over 30 new students have joined the club in the past week. Lavigne also said Biketopia would be partnering with the bike rental program offered through the department of Athletics & Recreation.
“I’m looking just to provide enough parts for students who are freshly new to the mechanic world to learn off of rather than go through the whole junkyard mechanic experience, which I will also be able to provide a perfect amount of knowledge for those who are willing to go that route,” Lavigne said. “So for right now, I wish to get more rental bikes on the road. This would be a perfect opportunity for us to have a good chunk just to get us started for the semester.”
The senate unanimously approved Lavigne’s request for club funding.
The SA saw successes in its own events. Coordinator of Activities Marileana Rodriguez reported that Create-a-Creature, one of the SA’s staple events, was “big this year,” with all the stuffed animals “gone” within an hour. Rodriguez also said another SA event — Laser Tag, held earlier on the day of the meeting — brought in 82 players. Coordinator of Arts Pilar Balader Herrero reported that a trip to a museum in Canada is in the planning stage. Senator Nilay Vaidya reported he was working with the Global Education Office to bring back the annual Night of Nations in November, after a break due to COVID-19.
Newly-approved senator Djeneba Sy said she planned to create a TikTok page for students to “understand a different side of SA,” as well as get information about SA events.
SA Adviser Jacob Avery acknowledged the SA members’ efforts and noted an increase in student interest in the SA.
“A successful SA is a successful SUNY Plattsburgh,” Avery said.