Students question classes on MLK Day

In a prepared statement read during the open public forum at last week’s meeting of the Student Government Association (SGA), the first general body meeting of the semester, Vanessa DeJesus, president of the senior class council, voiced her disappointment with the College for what she sees as its meager recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The College, unlike many others across the country, opts to hold classes on the holiday, setting aside a few hours for programs honoring the civil rights leader the following Wednesday.

“I don’t know how we can accept this,” DeJesus said. “A couple of hours, or even a day, is not enough to commemorate what this man means to so many people in this country.”

Her statement was greeted with a standing ovation.

“I don’t think it’s too late to address this issue,” Christina Puglia, SGA executive president, added, noting that SGA must annually approve the College’s academic schedule.

A resolution tabled at the end of last semester, which addresses removing recognition status from inactive student organizations at the College, was brought to a vote and passed unanimously.

Four organizations, the Ayn Rand Society, Educational Theater for Children, Management Information Systems Society and the Polish Club, had been given inactive status as of November 13, 2003, according to a document provided by SGA.

A fifth group, the College Democrats, which had, until the end of the fall semester, been labeled inactive, revived itself and was removed from the list.

The resolution, which removed “all student organization privileges for these organizations,” as of the beginning of the Spring 2004 semester, also sets a precedent for how SGA will deal with future inactive groups.

“In the future, the process of removing recognition status from inactive organizations will be set forth by a formal resolution to be presented to the entire Student Government Association for review and approval, consecutively, (during) last two regular SGA meetings of the fall and spring semesters of the academic year,” the resolution said.

A resolution addressing student concerns with the allocation of rooms for student activities by Auxiliary Services was introduced.

Mike Cilia, vice president of administration and finance, discussed the motive behind the legislation in brief.

“When rooms are meted out in an efficient matter, organizations suffer; their budgets suffer,” Cilia said.

A resolution to amend SGA’s election bylaws was introduced as well.

“There are paragraphs of bylaws that just didn’t make sense or were unnecessary,” Puglia said.

“We took out the things we didn’t need, cleaned it up, made it more professional,” she added.

The changes would include the creation of an election committee, consisting of two graduating seniors chosen by the alternate student trustees to help with campaigns.

They would also allow candidates to place advertisements on WTSR, the College’s radio station, and in The Signal.

If passed, the changes would go into effect for the next SGA elections.