SGA, Campus Police talk tickets and other concerns at meeting

James Gant, Student Government Association (SGA) executive vice president, discussed the outcome of an early October meeting with the office of Campus Police Services at last week’s SGA meeting. Concerns addressed at the meeting included issues of excessive ticketing, the Ewing Community Watch program and various safety concerns at the College.

Gant said he looked into questions about why students were being issues three tickets for one violation.

According to Campus Police, in the event of a violation that would warrant issuance of a ticket, a time period of 48 hours is allotted by the officer to the offender to correct the problem before another ticket is issued.

Gant explained the nature of Ewing’s Community Watch program. Neighborhoods in Ewing Township now have designated “block captains” charged with monitoring their neighborhoods for any suspicious activities.

Gant said that the Ewing Police Department has used the program as a means of “giving responsibility to people within the community.”

At the October meeting, Gant worked to communicate and address safety concerns at the College. The Campus Police phone number will be displayed in the Lot 6 parking garage before next semester, along with directions to help boxes. Additionally, the help boxes located outside residence halls will be painted bright yellow and equipped with a blue light.

Although the Nov. 1 meeting of SGA heralded the passing of the Resolution Reaffirming Student Rights, the resolution will not be presented to College administration for another one to two weeks. Christine Cullen, SGA president, said despite the delay in presenting the resolution, it will still retain its passed status.

The date of the presentation will coincide with the formation of the ad-hoc Committee on Campus Police relations.

Cullen said that the resolution, if released prior to the meeting of the Ad-hoc Committee, could jeopardize the objectivity of the SGA members sitting on the committee. This decision was reached after consulting the resolution’s creators, Vice President of Administration and Finance Michael Levy and Junior Class Treasurer Steve Viola.

“We don’t want to appear that we have closed our ears to what everyone has to say,” Levy said.

Viola said that the Committee on Faculty Affairs has been discussing factors to be considered in regard to issuing tenure to faculty members at the College. One of the criteria frequently called into question is grade distributions.

According to Tom Sales, associate member, using grade distributions as one of the criteria presents certain problems.

One of the other criteria used in determining promotion or faculty tenure at the College is student reviews. Often times, grades are used to justify bias in student reviews.

“This teacher is an evil bitch and she gave everyone the grade of C-minus,” Sales said, giving his own example of the correlation between grades and student comments.

According to Sales, bias can also work the other way, in that a professor that gives all As is likely to receive favorable reviews.

Sales said that faculty members at the College should have to “explain their grading distributions” along with their comments.

“In order to earn a promotion in a field you can’t be fired in, (professors) should have to jump through a lot of hoops,” Sales said.

SGA unanimously passed the Organization Registration Bill. Drafted by Mike Strom, vice president of Legal and Governmental Affairs, the bill will serve to prevent clubs from getting SGA approval without knowledge of policy regulating clubs at the College.

In the past, new clubs have unknowingly violated policy regarding sidewalk chalking and event advertising. The bill provides for mandatory training to be offered twice a semester for potential new clubs, as well as re-education in the event of a policy violation.

Chris Rindosh, vice president of Student Services, discussed a new resolution in progress: a Resolution Regarding Residence Hall Cleanliness Upon Move-In.

Freshmen at the College had voiced concerns to Rindosh regarding the soiled state of their rooms when they moved in. Upon contacting Chris Chamberlin, acting Director of Operational Services, Rindosh was informed that these incidents were isolated. A survey conducted by Rindosh revealed otherwise. This new resolution would serve to call necessary attention to the issue.

Daria Silvestro, student trustee, attended a meeting at Rowan University with student government members from nine other public state schools.

The meeting was held to create a solidified reaction to the state budget cuts on higher education.

Plans were discussed to allocate more income from the state lottery system toward higher education as well as a potential bond referendum to fund higher education. This referendum, however, will most likely not make it onto a ballot until 2008.