Explainers

An explanation of Syracuse University’s Student Association and its initiatives

Zach Barlow | Staff Photographer

Eric Evangelista and Joyce LaLonde are the current president and vice president of Student Association, respectively.

Updated: Jan. 13 at 11:17 p.m.

What is SA?

The Student Association is the student government body of Syracuse University. SA is currently in its 60th session and Eric Evangelista is president. Outside of the cabinet, there are four committees and four boards, which report to the association.

SA serves as a primary pillar representing the student body at SU. Its mission statement says SA “exists as a right and for the benefit of the student body” to meet students’ needs, represent students’ rights and hear students’ voices.

Throughout the fall of 2016, SA pursued several initiatives under the leadership of Evangelista and LaLonde. Here are some of those initiatives:

Bike Share Program

SA launched a bike share program on Sept. 26. Eight bikes are available for rent at the Schine Student Center. Individuals who check out a bike must return it by 10 a.m. the following day and those who rent bikes on a Friday must return it the following Monday. SA bought the bikes from Mello Velo, a local bike shop that aims to promote riding bikes throughout the Syracuse community.

This program was developed by the past three SA administrations, beginning during the 2014-15 academic year, when Boris Gresely and Daniela Lopez were president and vice president, respectively.

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Kiran Ramsey | Senior Design Editor

Mental Health Awareness

SA organized the first-ever Mental Health Awareness Week from Oct. 2 through 7. The week consisted of a series of events including meditation, bringing therapy dogs to campus and Syracuse Setbacks. Syracuse Setbacks was a session in which students heard the university faculty and staff discuss their personal setbacks as professionals and how they overcame those challenges. The initiative was pushed by LaLonde, who had expressed her eagerness to hold an event on mental health on campus and increase access to mental health care.

Free Menstrual Hygiene Products

SA began offering menstrual hygiene products starting Oct. 28. Products are placed in bathrooms in the Schine Student Center, Huntington Beard Crouse Hall, the Hall of Languages, E.S. Bird Library and the Life Sciences Complex. Specifically, 10 Tampax Tampons and 10 Maxithins pads are installed in every women’s and gender neutral bathroom in those five buildings. Five tampons and five pads were also put in the men’s restrooms in those buildings. The products are replenished by volunteers.

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Kiran Ramsey | Senior Design Editor

Off-campus Camera Installation

SA is considering a multi-stage plan that would setup 49 cameras around off-campus housing areas. The cost is estimated to be $500,000. Eight cameras would be placed on the corners of Euclid Avenue during the first stage, which would cost $88,000. This initiative was proposed by Alexander Lynch, a class of 2016 SU alumnus who is currently a community safety and security analyst for the Department of Public Safety.

Remote Access to Link Hall Computers

SA launched an initiative on Nov. 4 that enables up to 30 students at a time to access a Link Hall desktop from their personal computers. Students will have access to nine programs including MATLAB, COMSOL Multiphysics and Polymath. Because of this initiative, students can work on their assignments from their residence halls or apartments. The access is designed to be used out of necessity rather than for the sake of convenience. SA Co-Chair of Student Life Anjani Ladhar worked with Eddie Devino, a senior in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and James Spoelstra, director of Information and Technology, to implement the program.

Buses to Polling Stations, Major Cities During Thanksgiving Break

SA provided two buses to polling stations on Election Day on Nov. 8. It also organized bus rides to New York; Boston; Rockaway, New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; and Philadelphia and shuttle services to the Syracuse Hancock International Airport and the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center ahead of Thanksgiving break.

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Kiran Ramsey | Senior Design Editor

In the spring 2017 semester, SA is planning to address and work on other programs including:

Sanctuary Campus

SA is contemplating a bill that would call for SU to be made a sanctuary campus. The bill, titled “Call for Syracuse University To Be a Sanctuary Campus,” was proposed by James Franco, chair of academic affairs, and Marcus Lane, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The sanctuary campus movement urges universities to adopt policies that shield students who are undocumented immigrants from deportations and other punishment. It was a response to Republican Donald Trump, who urged tighter border control and harsh immigration policy, being elected president. Hundreds of SU community members participated in a march across campus as part of a national sanctuary campus protest in November last year.

When the bill was submitted during the last meeting of the fall 2016 semester, the assembly did not vote on the bill as SA Parliamentarian Billy Collins and his administrative operations committee needed to ensure the bill does not violate any bylaws or constitutional laws. If the bill passes SA, it would be submitted to SU administrators.

Chancellor Kent Syverud in December responded to calls for SU to be made a sanctuary campus, saying that the university “simply cannot ignore federal laws.” Syverud had previously signed a petition to continue to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an immigration reform allowing those who were brought into the U.S. without documents as children to be shielded from deportation under certain conditions.

SU BusTime app

SA is expecting to start a mobile app, SU BusTime, that tracks bus schedules. The app uses a user’s location through a GPS system and shows estimated arrival times of Centro buses that run through the SU campus by choosing the route, direction and intended stop. The app is offered through the SU’s Information Technology Services department and worked on along with SU’s Parking and Transit Services.

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