The start of a new semester at Plattsburgh State has brought about many changes to the Student Association.
More than 20 new officers have been appointed, including a new president and new senators. Members of the Student Association began extensive training this past weekend to better equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to help serve the student body.
SA President Michael Kimmer said he heard that this training session was the “most extensive in the 54 years” that the SA has been established.
Saturday featured a welcome speech that Kimmer delivered, an SA history workshop and SA structure information sessions which outlined roles and expectations for each position, as well as team-building exercises.
Kimmer praised the team-building exercises, saying they were a huge component to the training.
“It didn’t feel forced,” Kimmer said. “We all had a really great time.”
Sunday’s training workshops covered advocacy and outreach, a tour of the SA office and a mock Senate meeting to give new senators a chance to experience a real meeting.
Kimmer said that the training sessions aimed to stress the importance of communication, commitment and teamwork, while also having fun as an SA officer. He said that part of the training also featured campus outreach with students. Students were asked what they believed the SA does around campus and what the SA could do to improve.
Kimmer said that, while the answers varied, the outreach also helps to “reaffirm some of the goals set in place” by Kimmer and the SA.
Senator Ryann Senzon said she joined the SA to help change the school and improve campus life for students. She also said training was extremely helpful.
Senzon said her goal as a senator is to work on public relations and to “spread the word about the Student Association.”
Senator Alex Meseck said the training helped prepare him for the rest of the semester.
Meseck joined the SA Senate in order to help the association work more closely together and to promote a more professional setting dedicated to representing the student body.
Both senators said the training enlightened them to the multiple resources and opportunities available to them on campus, not just as Student Association senators, but as students at PSUC as well.
As for the rest of the semester, Kimmer has proposed several goals and objectives, published in the Student Association Mission Objectives for 2016, outlining what he and the rest of the SA plan to bring to the PSUC campus and the student body.
The Mission Objectives’ first goal, titled “The Main Event,” is a plan to bring a musical performer or concert to the PSUC community.
The goal is to “create a mind-expanding concert experience that will leave the student body with memories that will last a lifetime,” Kimmer wrote in the proposal. According to the document, “a portion of the profit will be given to charity and the rest will be given back to the students in various ways to promote involvement in the Student Association.”
The second plan of action is titled “No Cardinal Left Behind Act,” which will mandate every eligible student on campus be registered to vote.
“The unification of this university in our combined effort to bring about a political change will hopefully set a precedent for other SUNY schools, as well as other universities throughout this nation,” the document said.
Enforcing this act will be a topic of debate between members of the executive council as well as members of the Senate.
Other objectives include several diversity-driven plans of action. These include “The Magnetic Pull of Diverse Inclusion,” which would work to include members of AKEBA and the Multicultural Alliance into the Student Association. The SA also aims to hold forums discussing unity, diversity, pluralism and inclusion.
The “E. Pluribus Unum” proposal looks to shift focus on campus from “diversity” to “unity in diversity.” The proposal suggests focusing not on what makes us different, but uniting students under what makes us all similar. Kimmer suggests PSUC adopt a similar motto to “Unity in Diversity,” to work toward this goal.
Another proposal, “Think for Yourself and Question,” will look for ways to ask students to think outside the box about the structure of our society as a whole.
“The Center for Diversity should work to dissuade students from falling into the many false dichotomies in thinking that our society has deemed to be normal,” the proposal states.
Some of the other mission objectives include promotion of The Quake radio station as well as live PSTV events and programming being broadcasted on all common-area televisions on campus. One of the media-based proposals looks to add “Fireside Quake” to the radio lineup.
This would be in similar fashion to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats.” The fireside chats were delivered in the 1930s and 1940s by Franklin D. Roosevelt via radio to address the nation, marking the first time a president communicated with large numbers of citizens directly.
Kimmer said he will utilize his skills in radio to communicate with the student body, “in a warm, conversational tone, to help promote a sense of leadership within the SA and to help inspire students to reach out to the SA to inform us of any innovative ideas.”
The objective plan featured 18 plans and goals the SA hopes to accomplish to help improve the student body.
The SA took part in the weekend-long training sessions to better prepare and equip officers with tools and plans necessary to serve the needs of the student body, while developing plans and courses of action to involve students in the SA as much as possible for the remainder of the academic year.
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