By Dylan Huston
Before the commencement of the first meeting of the Undergraduate Students Association for the Fall 2016 semester, Canisius College’s own President and former Griffin editor John J. Hurley was the center (literally) of a scheduled visit to the Senate.
In his prepared remarks, Hurley stressed the importance of addressing Canisius’ “race issue,” leaving specific plans to be addressed at a later date. However, Hurley did elaborate on Canisius’ tendency to tolerate but not “celebrate” diversity.
“The College has not reached the point where it is celebrating racial diversity,” said President Hurley, who pointed out that some may, perhaps unfairly, blame USA for this fact.
As well as his emphasis on the importance of celebrating diversity, Hurley announced his plans for a “New Buffalo Institute” in order to “look at all the ways we can reach out to the community.”
“We may be a mile wide and an inch deep,” said Hurley, in reference to Canisius’ ambitious tendency to bite off a bit more than it can chew in regards to community service.
Hurley specifically stated his desire for further involvement with Buffalo’s public schools, pointing out the recent urban “renaissance” occurring on the west side of, and also throughout, Buffalo.
Hurley hopes this New Buffalo Institute will serve as an “organizing umbrella” and streamline Buffalo’s urgent need for economic development.
President Hurley also spoke about the issue of the parking ramp in the meeting. Among other comments, Hurley articulated that “the ramp is deteriorating,” that “debris has fallen from the third floor and damaged the second floor,” and that “the ramp has to be replaced.”
Other major changes include Hurley’s notion that “there could be people interested in acquiring Health Science from us”.
President Hurley’s presence at the Senate meeting lasted approximately half an hour, and then USA called themselves to order. The Griffin took advantage of the Senate’s call for general student concerns to ask about last semester’s e-mail resolution, which was designed to limit the number of club e-mails student would receive each week by bundling all general club e-mails into one mass letter. This resolution, however, has yet to go into effect.
“Our goal,” said USA Advisor Beth Crvelin, “is to roll out, essentially, a blog where these e-mails are submitted to, and then generate one mass message to students a day. Give us two or three weeks.”
Regarding a resolution proposed by Senator Matthew Smardz, USA President Elias Ayoub, ‘17, happily announced that “Styrofoam is reportedly gone […] Dining locations no longer can use it.” This achievement represents a huge environmental victory for the Undergraduate Students Association.
As well as quickly addressing the upcoming freshmen senatorial elections, USA voted to approve of the College Republicans’ proposed constitution after an unclarified problem with their attempt to renew their club last semester. This move will allow College Republicans to take part in Saturday’s Club Summit.
Senators Julia Kohler and Luke McCoy, among others, gave committee reports, addressing issues related to campus dining services. Among the considerations were the “long lines and limited menus at Iggy’s” and the expansion of labeling of foods for various dietary restrictions.
Concluding the meeting were open discussions of general issues. Senator Joe Lesh advised students to be aware of spam emails after receiving one in his own inbox.
The Senate has already created a new environment based on work from last semester, but it is important to make sure the Senate continues to push for new resolutions in the coming semester. As the semester continues, the Senate must work with both students and administration to make sure they continue to build on their momentum from the previous semester.