Tuesday, April 16, 2024

SA Senate questions appointment practice

Nitesh Rimal (left) and Abishek Subedi (right) present their case for appointment as senators. They cited a desire to contribute to the community and gain professional skills.

By Aleksandra Sidorova


The Student Association Senate questioned the ethics of appointing senators for vacant positions when it approved three candidates at its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 6. 

SA President Carter Mosher brought in Atmaja Addanki, Nitesh Rimal and Abishek Subedi for the Senate to approve as senators. The Senate unanimously approved them and subsequently swore them in, but before it did, raised some questions regarding candidates sometimes skipping the election process. 

Senators Arshita Pandey and Naomi Adebayo suggested the filling of vacant positions should be open to the student body and advertised in more ways than by “word of mouth” in order to maintain diversity and prevent cliques within the SA. 

This practice is “nothing new,” Mosher said, explaining that he, too, first became an SA senator by appointment. He said appointing senators allowed the SA to quickly fill important positions in the Senate.

“I have no personal connections to any of these people,” Mosher said of Addanki, Rimal and Subedi.

The Senate unanimously approved Mary Stockman as coordinator of academic affairs. Stockman, a senior criminal justice and law and justice double major, served as Board of Elections chair in spring 2023, and was away on an internship in Washington, D.C. in the fall. She also served as a senator in 2022.


By Aleksandra Sidorova
Senators examine a new promotional pamphlet designed by SA Coordinator for the Arts Alexander Finkey before discussing it. 

Additionally, the Senate reviewed copies of a promotional pamphlet recently designed by SA Coordinator of Arts Alexander Finkey with the purpose of introducing new students to the SA. Senator Sandesh Poudel noted that the SA hadn’t “really been doing everything” the pamphlet claimed, such as hosting concerts on campus and keeping Feinberg Library open 24/7 during finals week. 

Stockman said the SA’s last concert was SUNY Fest in her first year — “back when the dinosaurs were on the planet, so about four years ago,” 2021. 

There has been no 24/7 Feinberg access during finals week since the fall 2022 semester due to a decline in student use from 2 to 8 a.m., Feinberg Library Assistant Director Mark Mastrean wrote in an email.

Besides correcting what Poudel referred to as “falsehoods,” senators suggested that an updated design for the pamphlet should highlight what the SA fee pays for and the importance of maintaining it.

In his report, Mosher emphasized the need to promote the upcoming SA fee referendum so students vote to keep the SA fee mandatory for all students. 

“It needs to happen,” Mosher said.

The vote happens every two years, and the 2022 vote initially failed to pass, for the first time that the SA’s adviser could recall.

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