By John Connolly
During the Student Government Association (SGA) senate meeting on Monday, November 2, Vice President James Benedek addressed The Tower’s recent coverage of the new student government.
Benedek made the following statement during Monday’s meeting:
“I want to take this time to address the public and the senators. As you all have probably seen, there has been a lot of negativity mentioned about SGA in The Tower. I ask our Tower representative to take the following message back to the editor and other Tower members.
These 23 individuals work hard to make the student voice heard on campus. Chairwoman Kristina Pinault spent many hours preparing for the recent Dean Of Students hearing. Chairwoman Raelyn Schnappauf has worked tirelessly on improving Dining Services. And other members have given much of their time to their work.
President Anne St. Amant has organized three devoted task forces in addition to the other various duties she carries out.
So I ask, where was The Tower when all this good was happening?
If The Tower wants to throw SGA under the bus, then throw me, bash me, and write negatively about me. But stop destroying the legitimacy and reputation of an organization and the people that are doing so much good. Remember these are your friends, fellow students, and advocates.
Let us unite as a student body instead of ripping each other apart. SGA is making progress. I ask that your editor and staff stop stunting our growth.”
Following the statement, other members of SGA spoke out on other issues.
President Pro Tempore and Senator Stephen Morris acknowledged the legitimacy that SGA holds regarding issues such as CUAllies.
“[CUAllies] bought an add in last weeks Tower which listed our mission statement…We should not pass a resolution that says CUAllies should exist but a resolution that acknowledges a student organization that should do such work should exist,” said Morris, also noting the “high amount of power that resolutions have and I feel overall, we should be passing resolutions that reflect who we are…let’s focus our efforts on legitimate issues.”
The members also discussed the recent Dean of Students hearing which occurred last Monday.
Vice President Benedek commended Chairwoman Pinault and members of the Committee on Student Life for their work on the hearing, which he felt, “was very successful.”
Some students expressed concerns about the seating arrangement at the first hearing. Senator Gabrielle Vera questioned why the students who made up the committee were seated on a platform, which was above the level that the Deans were sitting at.
Benedek explained the setup was to reflect how an actual government hearing would be assembled.
Senator Roisin Gibbons of the School of Social Work said, “I think that it would be better if they were both on a platform or both on the floor. I think that would say ‘yes we are serious’ but also showing that we are respecting them.”
School of Music Senator Aaron Mackisey, who took part in the hearing, noted that prior to the hearing, a second, higher platform was in place for the chair and Vice President, but it was taken down before the hearing began.
Monday’s meeting also saw the confirmed the appointment of Zanas Talley as the new Executive Secretary. Talley, who will oversee communication between the various entities within the student government, is a sophomore and serves as Resident Assistant.
Talley was appointed to the position following the resignation of Carolyn Cipoletti.
President St. Amant stated during the meeting that Cipoletti, “informed me she was extremely busy” with various activates.
St. Amant also said she hoped Cipoletti would eventually return in some capacity.
The senate also appointed Daniel Lopes as a senator for the School of Theology. There are currently two open seats in the senate: one for the School of Philosophy and one for the Class of 2016.