Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect number of seats on the Student Senate. The story now has the correct number of seats and vacancies.
By Stephen DiFiore
With the addition of four new appointed senators at the PSGA’s meeting on Oct. 3, nearly 80 percent of the Senate is now filled.
20 out of 26 seats have been filled, the highest number of filled seats since Teresa Wheeler became chair. Four of the remaining vacancies are in the School of the Arts, one vacancy is a Commuter seat, and the Fort Awesome seat remains vacant.
The highest profile appointment was Nick Astor, appointed to the Outback Senate seat. Astor said he would focus on accessibility on campus as a senator, especially during a time when the Disabled Students Union E-Board has not been able to meet.
Astor talked about his concern regarding wheelchair accessible door buttons that do not work. Many times Astor had to wait outside of Outback for someone to open a door because the button was not working.
“It’s an interesting way to meet people,” he said.
Astor also wants to look into making the paths around campus more accessible to people who use wheelchairs.
“There is no real clear path to the sports/athletic fields,” said Astor, who enjoys watching soccer matches.
Senator Chris Klein (LAS) strongly supported Astor’s appointment.
“He is a hard worker and fights for what he believes in,” said Klein.
To fill the Alumni Village seat, the Senate approved the appointment of James Wise. Wise wants to look into improving conditions of apartments and dorms, specifically referencing the issue of people finding mold and other hazardous conditions in their residencies that were not properly handled over the summer.
As a worker for 32BJ, a service employees union, Wise said that the problem could be remedied through a unionized workforce.
“I would love to spearhead a project at Purchase to get a union onto campus,” Wise said.
While some senators were unclear of how he would use the PSGA’s authority to accomplish this, PSGA officials were willing to give him a chance.
PSGA President Elijah Logan said that even if his plan falls through, Wise would likely take up other initiatives during the year where he could make an impact.
Dylan Schwartz, a freshman, was appointed to the Big Haus senator position. Schwartz wants to improve general health on campus by equipping residencies with access to cleaning products that would be free to use by students.
“Maybe get like wipes and windex so you can dust your room,” Schwartz said.
He also expressed interest in a “Clean your hands” initiative closer to the winter to educate students about the importance of personal hygiene in regards overall campus health.
The final appointment was Karl Schumacher to the School of the Arts.
“I would like to propose more interschool events,” which would bring Liberal Arts and Sciences students together with Arts students, according to Schumacher.
The Senate also appointed Senator Minah (Comm.) and Senator Konteh (SOA) as the Co-Chairs of the of the Public Art Committee.
Both candidates pushed making student art more accessible on campus.
“This is an art school. We should see more art,” Konte said. “I want all students to be involved in public art.”
“We need to decolonize the idea of public art in our art spaces,” Minah said, challenging the traditional definition of fine art.
Next week, the Senate will elect a Chair for the Diversity Committee, which will be between Senator Leeper (LAS) and Senator Tororello-Allen (Comm.), according to documents posted to the Student Senate page on Pantherlink.