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nov em ber 19 , 2 013

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STUDENT ASSOCIATION every tuesday in news

Referendum to constitution becomes official By Brett Samuels Staff Writer

shea kastriner | contributing photographer taylor bold, the Academic Affairs Committee chair, talks to the assembly about several initiatives during Monday night’s meeting. The initiatives include creating an Arabic minor, as well as including grammar components in introductory writing courses.

Members propose resolution for university to change child abuse policy directions By Brett Samuels Staff Writer

A resolution was introduced during Monday’s Student Association meeting that would urge Syracuse University employees to change the policy directions for reporting suspected child abuse. SA Recorder Nick Bonafilia and Nedda Sarshar, a freshman English and textual studies major, presented the resolution to the assembly. The resolution would suggest that SU employees face disciplinary action, including termination, if they didn’t report signs of child abuse. Bonafilia added that several universities re-examined their policies on reporting child abuse after the Pennsylvania State University sexual abuse scandal. Assembly members discussed the possibility of changing the proposal to include those 17 and older because it would include the majority of SU students. But Bonafilia said there are privacy issues that come along with raising the age because it is the age of consent in New York state. The assembly will vote on the resolution at the next meeting. In addition, the Academic Affairs Committee discussed several of its current initiatives with the assembly. Taylor Bold, the committee chair, told the assembly that his proposal to create an Arabic

minor was rejected but he said he was planning on getting students who are in favor of the minor together to show the committee how much support there is for the idea. Sarshar informed the assembly on the progress of the Information Technology and Services Advisory Board, and said university representatives had been very receptive to SA’s ideas. She added they currently meet once a month, but are looking to meet more frequently. She also talked about the possibility of implementing grammar components into WRT 105: “Practices of Academic Writing” and WRT 205: “Critical Research and Writing.” One final concern brought up was the fact that there is no undergraduate student representation on the University Senate Academic Affairs Committee. Bold said Parliamentarian Ben Jones applied to be on the committee, but was rejected because undergraduate students aren’t allowed on the committee. “It’s a clear violation of student voice on campus,” Bold said. “Ben is absolutely qualified and I think it’s ridiculous.” Finally, SA will be providing buses at the end of the week from campus to the regional transportation center and airport, as well as to several major cities including Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. blsamuel@syr.edu

Hitting the polls Here’s a breakdown of the number of votes in the SA election by class standing:

freshmen

1076 sophomores

1139 juniors

1115 seniors

1081

The proposed constitution became the official constitution after Thursday’s Student Association election. Just less than 90 percent of students who voted in the election voted in favor of passing it. The constitution will implement changes such as adding a speaker of the assembly, who will preside in assembly meetings, and aligning SA sessions with the academic year instead of the calendar year. That means President-elect Boris Gresely will serve for three semesters, instead of the usual two. Parliamentarian Ben Jones oversaw much of the process in reworking the constitution, and said it felt great that students approved of the changes in the new constitution. “I was worried putting a whole new constitution on the ballot would be overwhelming and kind of turn people off, but I was very surprised and glad with the turnout,” he said. Jones said it would take time for the changes outlined in the new constitution to take full effect, but he said he hopes those differences will help SA function more efficiently. He added that next semester, the assembly will review the SA codes, which are more specific rules that govern the way the organization functions. The Administrative Operations Committee, Jones said, has been looking at the codes and how they can be improved. But the assembly won’t view them until next semester. Jones said it will be a long process, but he’s hoping to have it all finished by the end of the spring semester. “It’s another thing that’s really necessary,” he said. “It’s definitely been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to it.” Turnout this year broke previous records, with about 31 percent of the student body voting. Dan Hernandez, chair of the Board of Elections and Membership, said he didn’t set specific goals for voter turnout, but he was very pleased with the end result. “I wanted to strive for making it an informed population, not just a big voter population,” Hernandez said. “I think we ended up having an informed and a big population. It surpassed all my expectations.” Hernandez said sophomores cast the most votes, followed by juniors, seniors and freshmen. He said typically sophomores cast the most votes with upperclassmen casting the least. Hernandez said he believed the public relations campaigns were successful, and the final turnout was a ref lection of the hard work of all those involved in the process. blsamuel@syr.edu

November 19, 2013  

November 19, 2013

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