Valley law: Sandra McCarthy delivers justice for Student Activities

Jefri Nazri

Staff Writer

Sandra McCarthy has two positions here at Hudson Valley. She is the coordinator of the campus judicial system and the Student Senate attorney.

She provides free legal services for students at Hudson Valley. “If there are free legal services for them, I’ll help make a referral. If there are no other options, I’ll give them a couple of names of people to contact and hire. If it’s the kind of situation where people are able to handle themselves, I’ll walk them through so that they are more prepared, for example if they have a court date to settle a ticket dispute,” she said.

A huge issue on campus and among the students that commonly arise according to McCarthy is that of plagiarism. “The students, particularly in this generation, need to be alert of what is okay for collaboration and what is really plagiarism or stealing someone else’s ideas. In this day and age, information is readily accessible with the use of phones and the internet. The generation now is so used to practicing collaborative learning as a means of sharing information because the internet puts all these great ideas together. But this doesn’t always translate at school because the rules over what you are allowed to use, take, or share from someone else is very strict,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy suggests that understanding what needs to be the students work and what can be collaborated from others is very important. She also recommends students to be more mindful when it comes to online classes.

“When you post something on your computer, you need to make sure that it is confirmed that you have posted, because eventually it will end up being erased. We’ve had some of those cases, once in a while, where someone says that something has posted but the instructor never received it. I recommend before taking an online class, the student should be computer savvy enough to understand how to post on blackboard,” she said.

McCarthy is also working on redrafting the code to comply with the Violence Against Women Act and new regulations from SUNY. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a piece of federal legislation that sought to improve the criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the United States. “The students need to be aware of this act, the definition of consent, and the Good Samaritan Law. My proposal will go through the academic senate by the end of the month, the board of trustees in March. It will be reviewed and most likely changes will be made, then it will officially be a code. I am very excited for this,” she said.

Sandra McCarthy is available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at the Student Activities Office, Siek Campus Center, Suite 120, Room 121. No appointments are necessary. For further information, contact the Student Activities Office at (518) 629-7348.

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