On January 9, 2016 the SUNY Student Assembly (SA) Executive Committee (EC) which is made up of the executive board, representatives, and the executive cabinet, traveled to SUNY Delhi for our monthly meeting. Delhi educates nearly 3,600 students and is located in the Catskill Mountain region. Delhi students are able to pursue associate, bachelor, and masters degrees with a strong focus on experiential learning. Experiential learning gives students the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences in their field of study outside of the classroom.

Major results of the committee meeting chaired by Vice President Melissa Kathan included voting in the new chair of campus safety, Bridget Doyle of Fredonia, and the reassignment of Deputy Director of Communications, Christopher Wallace of FIT, to the Director of Communications position. There was a total of 13 resolutions passed with topics ranging from intra-organizational policy to stances on social issues such as Family Medical Leave.

A number of the resolutions passed had a focus on increasing sustainability, equality, and safety within SUNY. The No Food Waste resolution called for SUNY to donate all un-used and edible food to local food banks and charities in an effort to eliminate food waste and to benefit those in need. The Modification of Family Medical Leave policy endorsement resolution called for the organization to support the existing resolution by the University Faculty Senate to support the modification of the current Family Medical Leave policy which subjects those that leave a job for a time due to family medical leave to a stop in the tenure track. The resolution also called for no gender bias within the new policies and that women will not be negatively affected for taking a leave of absence under the new provisions. A resolution regarding the SUNY Hiring Policy also called for more equality and diversity within the faculty demographics. The resolution asked SUNY to ensure that they interview people from a diverse background for every position should a qualified candidate be available in order to enhance and diversify the learning environment and create a faculty which reflects the student demographic. Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention, or SHARP, is a program adopted by the United States Army focused on the elimination on sexual offenses within the Army. They hope to accomplish this through cultural change, prevention, intervention, investigation, accountability, advocacy/response, assessment, and training. Hoping to align with this idea a resolution was passed calling for the inclusion of a sexual assault and harassment policy within the Student Assembly bylaws. This policy is set to include a student Bill of Rights, procedures for when reporting a case of abuse, and the requirement for student leaders to attend sexual assault and harassment training at the beginning of each semester. There was also a call to eliminate the use of binary language within all governing documents of the SUNY Student Assembly to promote and ensure gender inclusivity. These changes are to be ready and submitted for approval by the April 2016 Spring Conference Business Meeting of the Student Assembly.

The remainder of the resolutions passed addressed intra-organizational committee memberships, appointments, title changes, campus assignments, constituency assignments, housing and transportation for committee meetings, and updates to the campus safety committee.

Ag/Tech. College Representative Anthony Cucci of the host campus SUNY Delhi received much praise for the work he did showing off his campus, making resources available, and providing a great overall experience for the members of the executive committee. The members of the committee were taken on a two-part tour of the whole campus: a walk-through tour of the main campus by Mr. Cucci and a bus tour of the additional facilities surrounding the campus which include a full 18-hole golf course and functioning farm. The committee was also able to meet and interact with members of the Delhi faculty including the President of the University Dr. Candace Vancko, Vice President for Student Life Barbara Jones, Assistant Provost and Chair of Hospitality Management David Brower, Director of Student Activities John Huber, and Student Activities Associates Nicholas Wagner and Joliana Hunter-Ellin.

“I was happy and proud that SUNY SA got to Delhi. It was an honor to be able to show just how great the college is and I am happy that everyone had such a great time!”

– Anthony Cucci.

Having the ability to visit Delhi, gave the EC the ability to witness the true magnitude and diversity of SUNY and the campuses within the system.

Read the full minutes from this meeting here.

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