EOF Alliance receives SGA approval

The student organization, the Educational Opportunity Fund Alliance, was granted official club status at the Jan. 24 meeting of the Student Government Association (SGA).

The large majority vote approving EOF Alliance can be accredited to comments made by SGA executive board members and senators, which quelled dissenting opinions.

According to the EOF Alliance, represented by sophomore sociology major Gabriela Luna, sophomore business major Hazel Diaz, sophomore business major Doris Anglade, and sophomore accounting major James Corey, the organization is not restricted to EOF members, but is open to the entirety of the student body at the College.

The representatives from EOF Alliance said that their organization will work toward improving the GPAs of its members, in addition to providing extended support for upperclassmen of the EOF program by means of a peer-to-peer relationship. Currently, junior and senior EOF students at the College are not bound to study requirements or faculty supervision.

EOF Alliance representatives also said that the organization will provide study skills workshops, similar to those required of incoming freshmen EOF students, as well as group study sessions to achieve its objectives.

Dan Beckelman, junior senator at-Large, voiced discontent with the organization’s failure to take part in SGA lobbying efforts over winter break, as promised by the EOF Alliance executive board. Other senators questioned the organization’s purpose, citing redundancy and exclusivity as causes for concern.

Dan Scapardine, senator of Culture and Society, and Michael Strom, vice president of Legal and Governmental Affairs, defended EOF Alliance. Strom and Scapardine said that the organization’s failure to take part in lobbying efforts was largely due to a lack of communication over winter break.

Jim Gant, executive vice president, also defended EOF Alliance.

“(EOF Alliance) sounds like something with a positive mission statement and it’s disheartening to me that members of the student government are speaking against it,” Gant said.

Magda Manetas, executive director for Student and Residential Development, spoke regarding recent changes made to the office of Health Services at the College. Manetas said that student concerns regarding confidentiality and waiting time at the office have been addressed. Manetas said that Monday through Thursday, “formal support staff” will remain in the office until the new closing time, 6 p.m., to ensure patient confidentiality. The former night nurses of the office have been moved up to the day shift to ensure shorter waiting periods.

Manetas said that the changes have been made as part of a “pilot process,” and their effectiveness will be scrutinized at the end of the semester. Students are encouraged to provide feedback regarding Health Services throughout the year at the Health Services Web site.

Daria Silvestro, student trustee, announced the Jan. 27 meeting of Garden State Student Trustees. This meeting will include delegates from five of the nine public New Jersey institutions of higher learning.

Silvestro said that topics of discussion are to include lobbying efforts to recoup money lost by state budget cuts to higher education, as well as plans for a demonstration protesting the lost funding.

Strom said that members of the Legal and Governmental Affairs committee met with eight legislators over break as part of its lobbying effort. Strom said that more meetings with state officials are to follow.

Gant commented on the efforts of the Ad-hoc Committee on Campus Police. Gant said that Kathy Leverton will no longer serve as Campus Police administrator. A “search committee” has been formed to find a new civilian administrator for Campus Police.