SA open forum offers platform for student input

On Thursday Sept. 19, Geneseo Student Association hosted the first of three open forums for the fall 2013 semester, run by SA Director of Public Relations senior Riley Burchell. The meeting covered several topics of interest to students, including medical amnesty, financial policy and academic advisement.

The forum began with discussion on medical amnesty, a policy promoted in spring 2013. According to the policy, if an underage student has engaged in drinking and another student needs medical assistance, making a call for someone else is something “that is taken into consideration if you yourself were under the influence of alcohol,” according to Student Association Vice President Katie Becker said.

“I think that [the new medical amnesty policy] really does embody a lot of what is an integral part of the SUNY Geneseo life and campus life and community,” Burchell said. “It is the idea that you cannot be a bystander.”

As discussion continued, the students began brainstorming ways to advertise the new policy.

“It really needs to be publicized; it really needs to be made known,” SA Director of Inter-Residence Affairs senior Olivia Kelly said.

Those in attendance offered various ideas for more effective publicizing, including the use of stickers on the doors of residence halls or door tags to spread awareness.

According to Becker, “direct contact,” as opposed to a Facebook notification, is a more effective way to reach people.

The forum then transitioned into a discussion on financial policy and academic advisement.

“I don’t know anything about finances … I think that’s what deters a lot of students from really feeling like Student Association is a place that is essentially built around them and for them,” Burchell said. “The amount of confusion about how the SA budget works, where the money goes [and] how the money is allocated is really daunting and really confusing.”

“It is important people know where the money is, where the money’s going, that kind of thing,” Becker said.

In addition to financial policy, the forum addressed academic advisement with regard to its level of student accessibility.

“If you don’t know how to take advantage of the academic system, a lot of people get lost,” Burchell said. “This is displayed by people changing their major five times ... I think advisement needs to be looked at.”