On Monday, November 18th, Student Senate held a Town Hall Meeting. During this meeting, students were given the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns to members of the Student Senate. Senators in attendance included Student Senate President Zach Coderre, Student Senate Treasurer Nicholas Murabito, and Class of 2022 President Eric Weiss. The meeting started with the Senators introducing themselves and explaining to those in attendance what their roles were on the Senate.
Throughout the meeting, students voiced the concerns they have and asked questions of the Senators. The student concerns varied from something as simple as working to add better staplers in the library to something more serious like international student housing over the Winter break. The Senators were receptive to student concerns and offered solutions to the issues that were presented to them. Student Senate hopes to continue these meetings and is looking to have them once a month in the future. This responsibility will fall on the new Student Senate who will take office at the beginning of the Spring Semester.
Freshman Leah Roth expressed concerns about the lack of clocks in our academic buildings and issues that she and her roommate have been having with getting a bed in their room lofted. Roth and her roommate had requested the bed to be lofted at the very beginning of the semester and has heard nothing in response to the request. Roth was very positive in discussions after the Town Hall and said “I thought that the Senate Town Hall meeting was very informative and I wish more students showed up. I think giving students the opportunity to let their opinion be heard is very important and I like that the senate is in favor of making their meetings more accessible, even if it is once a month, for students.”
Freshman Nick Discala asked the Senators about providing an additional shuttle bus to the mall on weekends. Discala explained that the shuttles were especially popular this year, having students lined up around Siena Hall waiting for shuttle services. The Senators were eager to look into the matter and also explained that Siena Students have access to the Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA) Bus System with their SaintCard and that is another option that students looking to get off campus for the weekend. After the town hall, Discala said: “I found the town hall engaging and I was really glad that the senate took steps to listen to the concerns of students.”
Student Senate President Zach Coderre was happy with the turn out of the event and the discussion that was had by the students and when asked what he thought of the event at the end of it said: “I think this was a tremendous opportunity for the student body to come together with Student Senate to have a productive dialogue regarding current problems and future ideas.”
I was especially invested in attending this event. In a previous issue of The Promethean, I called for the Student Senate to change its meeting time to Free Period. The discussion that we had during the Town Hall ultimately ended in a discussion about transparency and access of Student Senate to the student body. Coderre responded to this discussion by agreeing that more needed to be done to promote student involvement and engagement with Student Senate. The Town Hall Meetings are definitely a step in the right direction to encourage student engagement with Student Senate and to help give a more direct line and accessible line of communication between the Student Senate and the student body.
The Town Hall meeting was a success overall. Freshman Mike Simeone was happy with the Town Hall. He remarked, “I’m glad I went, it was nice to have someone listen to problems here at Siena and try to fix them.” Student Senate is looking to have more of these free period Town Halls in the future. In the meantime, Student Senate meets every Tuesday at 4:15 pm in the Sarazen Student Union. If you can’t attend their meetings, please email any concerns you have to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact a Senator.