January 25, 2008

In 2008, S.A. Starts Afresh

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The Student Assembly held its first meeting of the semester yesterday in the Straight. The session was presided over by newly elected President C.J. Slicklen ’09 who took office on Nov. 29 following the resignation of Elan Greenberg ’08.
Over his term, Slicklen hopes to significantly increase outreach between S.A. representatives and on- and off-campus communities. He additionally hopes to continue supporting changes enacted by Greenberg.
“I really like the idea of outreach and want to see more representatives interacting with their deans and the administration on a consistent basis. We are also reaching out beyond the campus and are currently in consultation with other schools, including the SUNYs and other Ivy League schools. The Ivy Leadership Summit at the University of Pennsylvania is one example,” Slicklen said.
“I want to make sure that the previous president’s changes are given adequate support by the S.A., so that will also be one of the initiatives I will push for this semester,” he said.
The S.A. currently has two vacancies to fill with representatives from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, which were vacated by Austin Redmon ’10 and Daniel Budish ’09, respectively. In response to these vacancies, the S.A. plans to propose rules to be voted on at the S.A. election this spring, which would allow newly elected representatives to assume office immediately.
“The winner of the Architecture, Art and Planning seat and the top vote getter of the Arts and Sciences seat will immediately be seated upon election. They will serve both this and next semester,” said Mark Coombs ’08, director of elections and former S.A. executive vice president.
Mazdak Asgary ’08, S.A. representative, provided an update on the Student Personal Productivity Services Task Force. The recently established group is studying the feasibility of allowing students to use external e-mail providers with the University’s logo. The task force plans to contact service providers by March 1 and have responses by April 1. Google, Windows Live and Yahoo are among the providers being considered.
“This will help the University save almost $1 million a year just from reducing storage space, since the University currently provides each student with 300 megabytes of storage,” Asgary said.
Contention within the S.A. emerged when the Spring 2008 Undergraduate Elections Rules were brought up for approval. One issue focused on whether or not to allow multiple candidates to run on the same ticket.
After much deliberation, the proposal was struck down.
“Tickets are a thorny issue because they can potentially be unfair for the individual running alone. Before, people have run on large tickets consisting of many candidates. This almost guaranteed electoral victory to a group of friends and often deprived others of a fair chance. I personally am very glad the S.A. reaffirmed its commitment to disallowing tickets,” said S.A. representative Chris Basil ’10.
Further business addressed during the session included the approval of the S.A. Standing Rules and Class Councils constitution proposals, as well as the approval of Greg Mezey ’09 as Greek Liaison.