SGA explores ways to increase Country Club safety

At last week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting, Blair Gumnic, vice president of Administration and Finance, said SGA has been trying to work with the College to increase safety at the Country Club Apartments.

Following several patients’ escapes from the nearby Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Gumnic met with Kathy Leverton, associate vice president of Administrative and Environmental Services, Sept. 29 to address issues regarding the security of the Country Club Apartments.

Several residents of the apartments did not like the fact that campus security personnel were relieved from duty when one of the patients escaped from the hospital in September.

Gumnic said her meeting with Leverton was the “first step into having student concerns met.” She said she will continue meeting with Campus Police and the office of Administrative and Environmental Services “until students feel safe.”

“The next step SGA is taking is looking into a set time students need to be notified during these types of situations and also the contract the College has with the Country Club Apartment complex,” Gumnic said.

She said Leverton told her that the College did increase security at the apartments when the first patient escaped, and the decision to relieve the hall workers was a joint decision with the office of Residence Life, which felt it was unsafe to have student security workers sitting alone by themselves in an open area.

Sean Stallings, assistant director of Residential and Community Development, said the College recognizes that many students do not feel safe at the apartments because of their close proximity to the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.

He said there have been proposals to look into alternative places for students to reside, and any students with specific concerns should contact him.

Gumnic said she is pleased with this. “There are still some issues that need to be worked out to make sure students are safe living at the Country Club Apartments, however, it seems like the administration is willing to take into account student concerns,” she said.

SGA also discussed this week’s distribution of academic surveys to determine the level of diversity problems that exist at the College.

“I personally believe that we have some of the finest faculty in the nation, but we owe it to our constituents to examine and address this problem to the extent that it does exist,” S. Lee Whitesell, vice president of Academic Affairs, said.

Responding to several students complaining about the quality and quantity of the dishes and silverware in Eickhoff Dining Hall, Leo Inglima, sophomore class president, said the machines that wash dishes and silverware are expected to be serviced this week. As an alternative, paper plates and plastic utensils will be used for the week.

Lucy Pacius, junior digitial arts major, spoke to SGA at the meeting about the new photography minor, which prohibits students in the art program from obtaining the same institutional recognition for skills in photography that students in other schools would get for taking the same classes.

Whitesell said SGA’s committee on Academic Affairs is awaiting direction from the Steering Committee regarding the issues of minors. The photography minor issue will be a priority at this week’s committee meeting.

Ravi Kaneriya, senator at-Large, announced that SGA is trying to compile book lists to be posted several weeks before the start of the spring semester, to help students save money by allowing them to order books online before the start of the Spring 2006 semester.

However, the completion of this list depends on each department’s cooperation in providing the book lists to SGA.

Annelise Catanzaro, SGA executive president, said there has been limited attendance of non-SGA members at its committee meetings. She reminded students of the meeting schedule and encouraged them to attend the meetings to voice their concerns.