Student Association

SA assembly approves ‘permanent initiatives’ for 61st legislative session

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With President-elect James Franco and Vice President-elect Angie Pati in attendance, committee members presented before the Student Association assembly why their initiatives should be carried over to the 61st legislative session.

The term “Permanent Initiative” was the focus of a majority of the Student Association assembly meeting on Monday night.

With President-elect and Vice President-elect James Franco and Angie Pati in attendance, committee members presented why their initiatives deserve to be carried on by the 61st legislative session, becoming a “permanent initiative.”

Assembly members raised questions about the purpose of permanent initiatives. Some asked whether it is meant to keep initiatives from being forgotten or whether it is to ensure the continuation of successful initiatives that leaders have worked on.

The first initiative discussed was by Director of Diversity Affairs Diasia Robinson on making a diversity week permanent. Taking place this year for the first time from April 24-27, SA is hosting an Arts Inclusivity Festival. The assembly passed this initiative unanimously.

Chair of Academic Affairs and President-elect Franco presented three initiatives from the committee to make permanent.

The first initiative was to make E.S. Bird Library open for 24 hours during midterm period in the next year. This past year, Bird Library was open without closing for two weeks, including the weekends of Feb. 24-26 and March 3-5, when normally it would close at 10 p.m. This initiative was passed unanimously.

The second initiative was to launch a pilot Orange Education program. This will focus on the first-year forum, during which students will present to first-year students about experiences they have. This became a permanent initiative with a 14 to 3 majority vote, with one abstention.

Franco also presented the opportunity to have the summer research initiative become permanent, currently in its third year. He hopes to expand this program next year “so more students can utilize what is going on,” Franco said. This initiative was passed unanimously.

Syracuse Students Teaching Healthy Habits, presented by Parliamentarian Obi Afriyie, is a program for Syracuse University students to get involved with Syracuse city schools. Afriyie said the program takes SU students, who develop a curriculum, it into a city school. Afriyie estimated that there were about 900 middle and high school students that they reached out to this year.

While there was discussion about what Afriyie’s initiative, both initiatives passed in the assembly.

Co-Chairs of Student Life Anjani Ladhar and Keelan Erhard presented three initiatives they believed should become permanent. The first was the menstrual hygiene program, but they said they hope to focus on better distribution of products throughout the current five buildings where these products are available.

The second initiative was to continue with the remote access program while collaborating with the Graduate Student Organization as well at the Information and Technology Services department. The final program they said they hope to continue is the Chat and Dine program, where students are able to eat with a professor in Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center.

Those three initiatives were made permanent.

Vice President Joyce LaLonde presented executive initiatives she hopes to continue. LaLonde proposed maintaining the Mental Health Awareness Week, which took place from Oct. 2 through Oct. 8.

“It was an incredible engagement and collaboration across the university,” LaLonde said.

If maintained, LaLonde said she hopes that students will engage on what was formed from this past year’s report formed with Student Association along with other organizations on campus. In particular, she said she hopes that work continues with the Office of Health Promotions.

LaLonde also argued for the cycle share to become a permanent initiative. As of Monday, over 200 people have used the cycles since it launched in September, and six shares on the adaptive cycles since it launched on April 3.

SA Recorder Drew Jacobson presented on keeping the camera initiative program a permanent initiative. Jacobson believes the finances and time devoted to the initiative in the past is reason enough to make it a permanent initiative. Since there needs to be an entire year to gather the data on how the cameras would be implemented, it would not be until the 62nd legislative session for these cameras to be around campus.

There can only be two executive permanent initiatives as is determined by the original bill in order to set up permanent initiatives, Franco said. Both the mental health and cycle share initiatives passed with the two-thirds assembly vote.

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