Sunday, May 19, 2024

SA Senate rewards support staff to wrap up school year

Senators cast their votes for the three awards recognizing student, staff and support staff contributions at the Student Association Senate meeting April 30.


By Aleksandra Sidorova

The Student Association Senate gave away the last of its additional allocations, approved a new club and cast its votes for recipients of three awards at its meeting April 30.

The Senate approved $450 to go to bike parts for Biketopia. The club allows students to rent bicycles for free, maintains bikes owned by SUNY Plattsburgh and offers fixes to student-owned bikes. The service is especially valuable for students who don’t have cars, the club representative said.

The Galilean Society, also known as the astronomy club, requested $535 to purchase a telescope capable of taking photos in color, replacing the black-and-white photographic telescope the club owns thanks to a grant from NASA.

The club is preparing for Saturn’s rings to disappear from view next year — an astronomical phenomenon that happens twice in a Saturnian year, or once every 29 years on Earth. The new telescope will not only allow for better views, but provide research opportunities for students.

Senator Sandesh Poudel motioned to change the requested amount to $499 — the price of the telescope without tax — because taxes don’t apply to items purchased through SA accounts. 

The amended amount was unanimously approved, leaving the SA with $14 in additional allocations.

The Senate approved a chapter of Trout Unlimited, a national nonprofit dedicated to freshwater conservation and aquatic life preservation, for provisional status.

Most recently, the club joined the Arbor Day Foundation in planting a total of 1,000 trees along the Boquet River on April 26 and 27. Other planned projects include guest speakers, stream cleanups and field trips in partnerships with the Lake Champlain Research Institute and the Center for Earth and Environmental Science and local schools to take elementary students to waterways. 

Lastly, the Senate submitted names for three awards. The names of recipients were announced at a closed SA banquet Friday, May 3. 

The Martin D. Mannix Meritorious Service Award, recognizing a peer in the Student Association, was awarded to Alexander Finkey, coordinator of arts and public relations. 

The William D. Laundry Award, which acknowledges a staff member for their service to students, was awarded to Stephen Matthews, dean of students and long-time adviser to the SA Senate and boards.

The Nancy Recette Award, given to support staff, went to Regan Ashline, administrative assistant for the Center for Student Involvement.

SA Liaison Tyler Hargraves and SA Senate Adviser Sarah McCarty gave their end-of-year presentations at the SA Senate’s final meeting May 7. Hargraves and McCarty said they learned a lot in the past year — Hargraves’ second and McCarty’s first working for the SA.

Both said they will spend the summer thinking of ways to better serve the SA and student population at large. Senator Arshita Pandey said she felt the SA did not support clubs and organizations to its full potential.

Hargraves announced that the Board of Elections will likely host another election at the start of the next semester — the new legislation should fill all positions within the first three weeks of the new semester.

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