Wednesday, March 3, 2021

SUNY’s got your back initiative aids students

Plattsburgh State’s got your back.

The Suny’s Got Your Back initiative was created by SUNY central three years ago in order to give students the chance to come together.

“Typically, [PSUC students, faculty and staff] work very separately,” Violence, Prevention Education and Outreach Coordinator Zyaijah Nadler said. “This initiative is really intended to bring these groups together. We all have a common goal which is supporting our students.”

Nadler has been placed in charge of conducting the initiative at PSUC for two years. She has been working with Student Support Services to separate donations. 

When Nadler is done collecting donations, she will create backpacks filled with necessities to give out to the students who need them with no questions asked.

“We are not policing how you define how you are in need,” Nadler said. “You can be in need if you don’t have a meal swipe for a day. You’re still a student in need. You need to eat.”  

There have been decorated boxes placed throughout the Angell College Center for students to donate food and clothing.

SUNY Central has a calendar on its website that shows events on other campuses. PSUC does not appear on the schedule because of RSVP issues. However, the campus is participating in the initiative regardless.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Director of Special Programs Michelle Carpentier has played an important role in the initiative. She runs the food shelf as well as the emergency services. Student Support Services also oversees the campus clothing exchange and the PSUC emergency funds.

“Plattsburgh has always been ahead of this sort of thing,” Carpentier said. “When these initiatives came out, Plattsburgh already had them.”

Carpenter said there is a greater need for these services. However, there is a “tap gap.” This pertains to the amount of funding that is needed for support services. Carpentier said there has been great ideas pitched to her in the past. However, they cannot be done without funding.

“I feel like it’s very beneficial,” PSUC junior Jamie Swiatlowski said. “It’s good to have this in the community.”

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