Art on campus and club meetings among senate’s spring initiatives

Pat Gareau


With a semester on the job under their belt and a more experienced team, the Student Senate and its president, Grace Harrison, are working on a new series of initiatives for the spring semester.

One is to increase the presence of the arts on campus. “Coming from a school that was based on integrated learning through the arts, I think we should display some of that,” she said.

She wants to display the work of students in the fine arts program around campus. So far, the biggest obstacles to this are the possibility of theft and the cost of casing.

Another initiative involving arts is her idea to promote students playing music around campus once the weather improves. She mentioned a possibility of performers earning a stipend, but details are yet to be finalized. A spring talent show will also give students at Hudson Valley an opportunity to display their performance skills.

An event that will include art and performances will be Cultural Pride Night on Feb. 26. It is a first-time event at Hudson Valley and is being organized by Bintou Cisse, student senator, and Fanny Motey, Senate treasurer. The event will include a local African drum and dance group, poetry readings, and a fashion show. Chartwells will be catering the event with food from a variety of cultures. They are working with the BLSU and hope other clubs will join.

Increased club cooperation is a goal of Harrison’s for the semester. She is organizing a monthly meeting of all club leaders on campus.

In addition to more communication between clubs, the Senate also wants to improve its communications with all students. It is considering a drop box for suggestions on campus and is asking professors to help make announcements and spread the word about events.

According to Harrison, as student senators gain experience, there is more lively discussion of campus issues at their 2 p.m. Monday meetings. “A lot of the senators are getting more comfortable now to give out opinions. There is more debate, more conflict, and that is something I encourage,” she said.

As an example, Harrison cited a proposal to raise the price of discounted movie tickets from $5 to $6 next year. The Senate is trying to solve how to offset an increased Senate contribution to the free CDTA ridership program next year. According to Harrison, the Senate is about evenly split on the issue.

While the senators are divided on some issues, they are working together on a number of others. The Senate has established a subcommittee to cut coupons so that they can shop more efficiently for the food pantry. They are also reaching out to local supermarkets to solicit donations to the food pantry.

The student senate meets every Monday at 2 pm to discuss campus initiatives and vote on issues. Photo by Konrad Odhiambo

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