SGA welcomes five new members

The Sodexho Carte Blanche issues that lingered at the end of last semester were revived at the Student Government Association’s first meeting of the semester.

Thea Schoenberg, vice president of student services, announced that John Higgins, general manager for Sodexho, and John Stafford, director of Residence Life, would be present at today’s meeting.

Schoenberg said each would give a five minute presentation to clear up student misconceptions about Carte Blanche, followed by a question and answer period open to all students.

Ravi Kaneriya, sophomore associate member, said most students he’s spoken to have not liked the plan, and that problems such as overcrowding and long lines for food exist at Eickhoff Hall.

But despite anger towards Sodexho for implementing the plan, Daria Silvestro, senator of education, emphasized the need for civility next week in questioning Higgins.

“We’re not going to get anything done if you’re not polite,” she said.

SGA is also preparing for its fall election, which is designed to give freshmen a chance to join the organization.

Stefanie Nieves, alternate student trustee, announced that interest sessions for candidates would be held in the T/W main lounge or New Residence lounge on Sept. 15, 16 and 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. Elections will be held on Oct. 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In internal affairs, Lauren LeBano, vice president of academic affairs, announced that while most senators received their first or second choice for governance assignments, she is still looking for senators to serve on certain committees. These committees included Information Technology, Faculty Affairs, General Education, Traffic Appeals and International Education.

She said she is looking for senators to serve on the Career Services task force as well.

“It will examine how Career Services serves the students,” LeBano said. “They really need a student representative because they serve the students.”

Brian Mulvihill, executive vice president, sent around sheets for senators to sign up for their first, second and third choices for office hours, as well as choices for committee assignments.

Eric Pasternack, vice president of legal and governmental affairs, said his committee would be beginning work on absentee ballot and voter registration drives in an attempt to get students involved in this year’s election. His committee would also discuss how SGA ratifies constitutions for organizations seeking official recognition.

SGA executive president Pedro Khoury said Jerusalem Howard, director of equity and diversity, would attend to have senators take a “climate survey.” The survey will see how students perceive the social climate on campus.

Khoury spoke to the senate about what it faced in the coming year.

“We have a long year ahead of us,” he said. “I want to focus on what’s important. What’s important is what is important to the students.”

“If we work together,” Khoury said, “we’ll have a great year.”