Thursday, June 20, 2024

SA executive board votes on resolutions, passes vote of no confidence

The Plattsburgh State Student Association held its executive board meeting Monday night to vote on matters put forward at Friday’s student forum.

The forum and its contents were in response to the racist Jan. 26 Snapchat, which threatened to “lynch n*****s,” posted by freshman Maria Gates and how PSUC administration handled it.

Roughly 60 students attended Monday’s meeting that included two resolutions and one vote of no confidence in three members of the university’s administration.

The first resolution voted on called for the code of conduct to be amended to include stricter punishments for those found guilty of discrimination based on “racism, bigotry, sexism, religion, socioeconomic status, physical disabilities, any form of hate speech, creed, age, marital status, national/ethnic origin, veteran’s status, sex [ including pregnancy], gender expression or gender identity, political activities or genetic information.”

The first resolution passed unanimously.

The second resolution dealt with the SA’s suggestion that current PSUC Vice President of student affairs Brian Hartman take over as interim President for President Dr. John Ettling.

The resolution did not pass after Hartman himself advised against it, citing that there would be little faculty or SUNY support.

“I strongly encourage you to not pass this,” Hartman said. “It’s misguided. The faculty don’t support it, I don’t support it and SUNY would never consider it. With the sentiment you’re expressing, I thank you deeply for that, but it’s not something based in reality. ”

The third matter brought up was the SA’s vote of no confidence in Ettling, Director of Student Conduct Larry Allen and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. J.W. Wiley.

Wiley was the subject of debate for many students in attendance. Many defended Wylie and asked the issue be tabled until the SA could hear from a larger portion of the student body.

The vote passed with four yes votes, zero no votes and three abstentions.

Several students in attendance stormed out after the vote was made.

“I could see a clear divide,” PSUC student Brian Haifa said. “Just listening to the handful of people who shared their opinions, it was obvious that this [vote of no confidence] is clearly not a whole representation of the student body.”

Fellow PSUC student Smit Pujara also saw the divide, and wished it could have been investigated more.

“I think tabling it would have been the best option,” Pujara said. “You could go to students and ask questions and do research about the topic.”

The resolutions will be voted on by the SA Senate Wednesday night at 9:15 in the Cardinal Lounge.

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