Student rights resolution passed to voice disapproval of Campus Police

The Resolution Reaffirming Student Rights passed by a unanimous vote at the Student Government Association (SGA) meeting last week. The vote was initially delayed for a week due to semantic concerns that were brought forth by Drew Rausa, senator-at-Large.

Michael Levy, vice president of Administration and Finance, touted the resolution as a means of reaching out to students at the College and said that “we do have rights as students.”

The preamble states the resolution’s purpose as “to assert (SGA) disapproval of the current actions taken by Campus Police against (College) students.”

Provisions within the resolution hold Campus Police to the standards established in its mission statement, which bind it to the mission statement of the College – “advancing the quality of the campus environment.”

The resolution also says that “Campus Police may have been influencing students into waiving their rights.”

The resolution concludes by insisting that Campus Police officers at the College uphold a less hostile “decorum” as well as employ procedures that do not violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights of students.

At the Oct. 25 SGA meeting, a resolution creating a lobbying plan in order to restore state funding to the College was passed unanimously.

The resolution created a “binding document that (SGA) senators can use to lobby legislators to revive (the College’s) funding levels,” Daniel Beckelman, senator at-Large, said.

According to Beckelman, past lobbying attempts by SGA came too late and “never got off the ground.”

At the Nov. 1 meeting, senate appointments were made for vacant seats in SGA.

Katie Quinn, junior history and secondary education major, was appointed as senator of Education along with Rachel Samuel, senior English and elementary education major. Dan Eckrote, sophomore business administration major, was appointed as senator of Business. Bill Plastine, freshman political science major, was appointed to the position of senator at-Large.

During the debate regarding the appointments, SGA members were impressed with the quality of all 10 potential candidates.

Each candidate was recommended by members of SGA. Before the results of the private ballot vote were announced, the potential candidates were encouraged to pursue associate memberships with SGA if they were not appointed to the vacant positions.

Steve Link, vice president of Academic Affairs, announced plans for SGA involvement in the Academic Integrity Policy at the College. SGA will appoint some of its members to sit with an Academic Integrity officer within each school.

In an e-mail interview, Link said that this move toward greater student involvement is part of College president R. Barbara Gitenstein’s move toward shared governance at the College.

“Getting student representation gives students the chance to play an active role in the academic judiciary process,” Link said.

This is a milestone since students have never been involved in the academic judiciary process. Link said that through student representation, he hopes to make the Academic Integrity Policy universal throughout all schools at the College. Link also said that a proposal is currently in the works for the selection of SGA representatives.

Mike Strom, vice president of Legal and Governmental Affairs, announced the makings of a new bill, the Organization Registration Bill.

The bill is the product of the efforts of the Legal and Governmental Affairs committee and Tim Asher, associate director of Student Activities. This bill will alter the process by which potential SGA-recognized clubs receive official recognition at the College.

Chris Rindosh, vice president of Student Services, unveiled potential plans for Finals Fest.Finals Fest typically serves as an outlet for relieving stress as well as an opportunity for relaxation during finals – one of the most stressful times of the year for students at the College.

Many of Rindosh’s new ideas were well-received, including a cereal night which could be held in combination with a large-scale pillow fight, as well as cookie decorating and karaoke.

Strom also drew attention to the election on Nov. 7. Beckelman encouraged participation in the upcoming mid-term elections. Both Beckelman and Strom stressed the importance of the student vote with regard toward their lobbying efforts.

“It is important, for our lobbying efforts, to show that we are a campus of voters,” Strom said.