By Aleksandra Sidorova
The Student Association Senate granted Fuerza: Black and Latinx Student Union an additional $429 to light up its annual Hispanic Heritage Banquet and approved two new clubs Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Senator Dineshreddy Channapareddy explained on behalf of Fuerza, the representatives of which were unable to attend the meeting on time, that “due to a mixup” Event Management staff charged the club $679 for the use of sound and lighting equipment. The additional funds would make up the difference between the billed cost, which was slightly more than Fuerza had expected, and the $250 already in the club’s budget. The request for funding was unanimously approved.
Fuerza’s funding application shows the club initially requested $450, not $429. While the amount the SA granted is not the same as Fuerza requested, it sufficiently covers the cost. The goal of the event, as described in the application, is to celebrate the independence of Hispanic countries “with a night to dress up and have a great time with Fuerza.”
The next items on the agenda were the approval of the Real Estate Investment Club and Her Campus for provisional club status.
The Real Estate Investment Club President Shane Westphelan said the club is for students interested in learning how to invest in real estate from guest speakers, simulation of purchases and books. Westphelan said the club would operate “like a book club,” with a book to read every month. The club’s constitution states the club is “strictly educational” and teaches the importance of real estate investing, as well as helps build connections with local real estate agents.
“We don’t actually buy real estate,” Westphelan said.
The club aims to have weekly meetings with high attendance. Westphelan said attendance was important to the club and will be taken at meetings.
“An official meeting will not take place unless the Executive Committee, as a whole, are in attendance, as well as at least 50% of the voting members,” the club’s constitution states.
Westphelan said 50 people have shown interest in the club at the involvement fairs at the beginning of the semester, and five people have shown interest through the daily Student Digest.
The SA unanimously granted Real Estate Investment Club provisional club status.
Her Campus is an online publication operating in 11 countries and over 400 college campuses. In order to establish a chapter of Her Campus at SUNY Plattsburgh, Aissatou Lo, chapter president and also an SA senator, said she had to go through a process of interviews and acquiring 100 signatures from interested students. Lo said she received positive feedback from students.
Members of Her Campus are required to write at least one article per week to contribute to the website. If a member does not fulfill their duties, they will be removed from the club. However, they may be added again in the future. Students may also receive one credit for their work for Her Campus as a practicum. Lo said Her Campus is different from Cardinal Points because it does not focus on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus.
Her Campus was originally aimed at women in college, but has since expanded its audience to include men as well. Lo said the club will not state “empower college women” as its mission.
Her Campus was approved for provisional club status in a vote of 13-0-1. Lo abstained from voting.
Next, the SA Senate approved Michael Casey as a member of the legislative review board. Casey spoke of his “many roles in student government,” including SUNY Adirondack and SUNY Student Assembly. Casey said he had experience writing legislation, including an opportunity to write New York State’s legislation. Casey was unanimously approved.
When it came time for her report, SA President Taiba Azeem complimented the Senate on their new 60th legislation polos. Almost all senators at the meeting were wearing the uniform, a black polo shirt with the words “60th Legislation” embroidered on the chest area to the wearer’s right and an SA logo to the wearer’s left.
Azeem summarized the SA’s activity for the week, focusing on goals in student involvement and engagement, encouraging students to attend the Black Solidarity Day teach-in Nov. 7 and reestablishing a Title IX office on campus.
Azeem said she attended the Faculty Senate meeting that Tuesday. While professors were encouraged to be lenient on their students and offer extra credit for Black Solidarity Day, there was “no sign” of canceling classes for the day.
As for Title IX, Azeem said the college is in the process of hiring a Title IX officer.
The SA Executive Council and senators collectively spend 88 hours a week working “just for the SA,” Azeem calculated. She spoke of holding the SA accountable and “making sure those are productive hours.”
Many senators did not have a report to share at that meeting. Those who did brought up issues of environmental sustainability and class participation.
Senator Endalkachew Abebe said he was working on environmental projects that could be implemented on campus and the City of Plattsburgh. Abebe said he is working with clubs and considering reaching out to other schools. Channapareddy said the finance board is looking for more members.
Senator Munashe Chikukwa said he spoke with Raymond Carman, Faculty Senate chair and political science professor, and uncovered several issues professors are facing. Carman reported low attendance and participation in class, whether due to sickness or “something benign,” which was something Chikukwa said he will be addressing. Students are also not fully utilizing campus resources such as office hours and the Learning Center, Chikukwa said.
Senator Djeneba Sy gave an update on her idea to use TikTok as a platform for the SA. She said a TikTok was made last year, but never used. A week later, the SA has already posted its first video on @saplattsburgh.