College Senate to promote communication, student involvement

The College Senate appointed new members as of Friday Oct. 2. The purpose of College Senate is to represent the student body’s voice through representation at College Senate meetings, which also include faculty and staff. Fourteen students were inducted into the College Senate after being selected by Student Association Vice President junior Michael Baranowski, who wanted “an array of students” represented.

Student Senate—also called student caucus—represents the student body in College Senate, which is comprised of representatives for students, faculty and college administration and recommends and votes on policy changes throughout the year.

Baranowski explained that he plans on expanding the role of Student Senate into a more independently-working body. Student senators already attend monthly College Senate meetings, committee meetings and student caucus meetings.

“I want to make it a larger thing than it actually is right now,” Baranowski said. “I would like to open [meetings] up to students because I would like a more open role.”

In addition to opening up meetings to the general student body, the College Senate is working with SA on a project this semester to increase availability and policy transparency for athletic fields.

“Club sports are kind of low on the order of priority for field usage, so we are trying to find ways to move up on that list,” Baranowski said.

SA President senior Andrew Hayes said that SA was focusing on finding the official field policies and “working on transparency and getting policy well known and publicized.”

Together, they hope to accomplish higher space availability for sports teams and students both on fields and in auditoriums and other event spaces. To aid this effort, SA Director of Student Programming senior Sarah Dukler joined the Space Allocation Committee.

“The staff and faculty and [administration] all want what’s best for students,” Hayes said. He explained that he hopes that athletes and students involved in theater will also be able to reserve optimal times and spaces for their performances.

Hayes and SA are also going to try again this year to pass minor constitutional changes that did not receive enough votes to pass last year.

“I think Geneseo students do care what’s going on in the student community, so hopefully we can translate that into getting them to participate in elections,” Hayes said. “I think it’s important that their voice is heard.”

Led by former SA Vice President senior Paul Michael, SA worked last year on passing a medical amnesty act that would grant amnesty to the reporter if they were calling for help, but had to drop the process on it as other issues came up. Hayes said that all the board members are well versed in the issue and “could bring it right back into discussion” if necessary.

“It reached a road where … we got a lot done and the school made a lot of good points on why they don’t want to go any further with it,” Baranowski added. He also credited Michael with the evolution of student caucus into a group that can work on projects not directly affiliated with College Senate and Baranowski wants to continue this growth.

According to Hayes, the purpose of student government—which includes SA as well as the College Senate—is to “take the campus voice, the voice of the students and try and bring it together and turn it into something solid.”

“All [student government members] promote student interest and the best practice for students on campus,” Hayes said. “I think all board members have that in mind as they do their day-to-day duties.”

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