SGA problems a focus of campus address

Gross also said that the involvement of the students at the College in clubs and programming is imperative. “Without the passion, devotion and commitment of the people on this campus,” Gross said, “the SFB is just a group of grumpy money lovers.” The resolution calling for the resignation of Student Government Association (SGA) executive president Pedro Khoury took center stage at the State of the Campus Address on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Leaders of the black community, Latino community, Greek community, Student Finance Board (SFB) and Women’s Center also spoke to the small audience.

Much of Khoury’s address to the campus community, which was the closing statement of the event, revolved around the turmoil that has surrounded SGA for much of the fall semester.

Khoury voiced his opinions about the two resolutions created by SGA early last month that aimed at removing him from office. The documents were a Resolution Calling for the Resignation of the SGA President and a Resolution of No Confidence in the SGA President.

“With these documents,” Khoury said, “I felt the true aim was not an improvement of the (SGA) but the destruction of my career.”

Daria Silvestro, speaker of the Senate, said she was unaware that Khoury was going to bring up internal SGA affairs at the State of the Campus Address.

“That was his initiative,” Silvestro said. “It was not discussed at the SGA meeting but he is the president. I think we’ve moved past that drama though, and it is time to get onto business.”

Khoury agreed that it is time to move on from the differences that divide SGA and said things are moving in the right direction. He said the focus can now turn to forming objectives that will help the College rather than worrying about the affairs within the SGA itself.

“Although there will be times that failure seems inevitable, I will not back down,” Khoury said. “Right now I believe the state of the campus is strong.”

Khoury went on to mention the obstacles the SGA has overcome so far this year and also explained their objectives for the rest of the year. Earlier in the year, a program called PrintSense that would limit that number of pages students could print for free.

SGA did not agree with all of the regulations and so although the program will record the number of pages each student prints, it will not limit the number of pages each student can print without charging for overage.

Khoury also spoke of the latest news regarding Sodexho. SGA made a survey with questions about different aspects of Sodexho’s services and hopes to get responses from one-third of the students on campus.

Also, SGA is formulating a plan to bring state legislatures to campus to prove that student tuition is being well spent, which will hopefully in turn translate into more funding for the College provided by the state.

Paul Harris, trustee of the Black Student Union (BSU), spoke on behalf of the black community at the College. Harris said that black students on campus currently are not completely satisfied with their representation at the College, in terms of sheer numbers and also in how they are recognized.

“There are less students of color at this institution this year than there were in the ’60s and ’70s,” Harris said. “We’re concerned with enrollment and what kind of recruitment practices are being used. What are we doing to retain our students?”

Harris said not only is the black student population at the College low at 6 percent, but so is that of the faculty and staff. He said that the black community at the College would like to see the black culture represented better in terms of the courses that are offered at the College and the food that is available.

Harris said his goal is to make the black students at the College feel more comfortable with their surroundings. This cannot happen, he said, until they are more adequately recognized.

“The Signal does not address issues at all regarding the African-American community,” he said. “Our people are highly educated and have opinions on many issues. It would only make sense for everyone on this campus to be equipped with the knowledge on how to interact with people of color.”

Jocelyn Charlon, president of Union Latina (UL), represented the Latino community at the College.

Currently, Latinos represent 6.6 percent of the students on campus, which is approximately 398 students. Charlon said, “We are a very strong community despite the size.”

Charlon spoke of things that UL has done on campus so far this year and the things it hopes to do in the future. She said that Gala de la Raza, an evening of Hispanic food and dancing, was a great success. “It portrayed the Hispanic culture in an excellent way,” Charlon said.

Charlon also said that the Latino community on campus is very proud that Khoury is the current president of SGA because he is the first Latino president ever to be elected at the College.

UL is now looking forward to the CLEAR conference scheduled for Dec. 4. At the conference there will be many workshops revolving around the Latino culture and it will be a great place for high school students to learn about Latinos, according to Charlon.

Charlon said UL is in the process of making preparations for Latino Awareness Month, which will be held in April.

Mediha Kosovrasti, president of the Women’s Center at the College, voiced the concerns that women on this campus have. In her speech she included statistics saying that one out of four women will be assaulted on campus annually and one out of eight will be raped. She added that unfortunately many of these crimes are never reported.

Kosovrasti said the men of the College need to take a stand against violence against women. “It is important to realize violence against women does not only affect women,” Kosovrasti said. “Having the support of men on this campus makes it a lot easier to raise awareness. We need to combine forces in order to heal, educate and grow.”

The Greek community was represented by Dave Dziengowski, president of the Inter-Greek Council. He said that if you are a part of the 23 fraternities and sororities at the College, then “It is an exciting time to be Greek.”

Recently, an assessment program was created to evaluate all the chapters on campus to make sure they are doing what needs to be done. Dziengowski is very proud of the fact that academics has become very important to the Greeks at the College. Last semester, the all-Greek GPA surpassed the all-campus GPA, he said.

“The bottom line is we recognize that we have to strive toward academic excellence,” Dziengowski said. “I’m not going to lie, we like to have fun, but we also get our work done.”

Although Dziengowski is very happy with the state of Greek life now, he said he realizes that nothing is ever perfect. He said, “The state of Greek life is very good, but we’re not done yet. There are more hurdles to come. We must begin to realize our campus is changing. We must continue to promote the positive aspects of Greek life.”

SFB Chairman, Craig Gross, gave his report on the annual student budget. Gross stressed that co-sponsorship by clubs for events for the students of this campus is an excellent way to maximize the funds available to the students.

Gross also said that the involvement of the students at the College in clubs and programming is imperative. “Without the passion, devotion and commitment of the people on this campus,” Gross said, “the SFB is just a group of grumpy money lovers.”

Gross said SFB is very proud that new policies this year have enabled SFB to appropriate money for various multi-cultural programming. students of this campus is an excellent way to maximize the funds available to the students.

Gross said SFB is very proud that new policies this year have enabled SFB to appropriate money for various multi-cultural programming.