Plattsburgh State Student Association Vice President of Student Affairs Arin Cotel-Altman dedicated time at Monday’s SA Executive Council meeting to propose the “Get Well Initiative” for PSUC’s baseball catcher Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, a PSUC senior, was recently hospitalized at a local hospital after contracting a severe headache and other symptoms. He was then transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center, where doctors diagnosed him with a chronic sinus infection and located a mass on his brain. Rodriguez underwent emergency surgery to remove the infection and mass March 22. He had complications during his surgery, but doctors are confident in his recovery. Although he is in the intensive care unit, he is in stable condition, according to a GoFundMe account established by Rodriguez’s aunt Rafaela Diaz.

Cotel-Altman said she and Rodriguez are good friends, which inspired her to start the initiative. She said at first, she planned on sending a card to Rodriguez on behalf of the SA, but decided a video would be a better approach.

She also said the video, which is being sponsored by the SA, will feature members of the baseball team as the “stars” of the video. The video will show students around campus sending their support, messages and well-wishes to Rodriguez as he continues to recover.

Rodriguez, a Puerto Rico native, has several extended family members living in New York state, but his parents, Miguel Rodriguez and Carmen Perez, live in Puerto Rico.
Cotel-Altman said she wants the campus to show support, even though Rodriguez is far from home.

In an effort to include the PSUC community, the video is being shot and produced with the coordination of PSTV and background music featured in the video will be “Lean on Me,” performed by Minor Adjustments, PSUC’s a cappella group.

Cotel-Altman plans to shoot the video Friday, April 22, at 4 p.m. She said she wants as many students as possible to participate in the final shot, in which students will congregate behind Memorial Hall to send one last message to Rodriguez as a campus.

Speaker of the Senate Alex Meseck said he fully supports the video, as it shows a sense of community on campus.

“Issues do divide us, but we all have an underlying tie as college students,” Meseck said.

He also said although the SA is working on procedural efforts this time of year, it is still important to care about the students and show support.

Vice President of Finance Ryan Ferguson said that although he had initial concerns about Rodriguez’s privacy, the video seems like a “good idea.”

Last week, Diaz provided an update on the GoFundMe account.

“His immune system is finally fighting back. Doctors are positive about his recovery. He was transferred to a private room to start his physical and occupational therapy,” she said on the page. “He understands it’s not going to be easy (and) that he (has) a long journey ahead of him to recover. Once again we (thank) you all for your support.”

The GoFundMe page, which received over 1,800 shares on Facebook, has raised $6,165, exceeding the $5,000 goal set by Diaz. The donations will help Rodriguez’s family travel from Puerto Rico to visit Rodriguez as he recovers.

Email Marissa Russo at marissa.russo@cardinalpointsonline.com

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