The Student Government Association’s (SGA) agenda on Tuesday centered around three main topics: a proposed change in the Physical Education (PHED) requirements, a student-led Food Task Force for improving on-campus dining options and a proposal to require Senators of up-the-hill residence halls to attend their Community Council meetings.
Chair of the Athletics Committee and Associate Professor of Biology Ken Belanger and Chair of Physical Education and Recreation Janet Little presented their plan for a reduced PHED requirement and asked for student opinions.
Under the proposed system, beginning with the Class of 2010, students would only have to complete two PHED credits in order to graduate, rather than the current four. In addition, the Outdoor Education program would diversify its course offerings, a year of participation in a varsity sport would count as one PHED credit and credit would no longer be granted for club sports or for non-physical courses such as First-Year Experience classes.
These ideas inspired heated discussion among Senators, who eventually took a straw poll on each item, showing their support for all except the elimination of credit for club sports. Belanger and Little assured Senators that their thoughts and suggestions would be taken into consideration.
The Food Task Force, a committee of Senators working toward the betterment of the student dining experience, asked for changes the SGA would like to see in regard to food at Colgate.
Concerns ran from the inflexibility of meals at the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop) to the excessiveness of first-year meal plans to the narrow selection of dining halls.
“We’re a school of 2,800 [students],” sophomore Senator Kevin Erway said, “and we have three dining options?”
Other Senators contributed the names of dining services they had sampled at other colleges that could possibly be considered as a replacement of Sodexho, the current food service provider.
The Food Task Force will meet with Executive Director of Food Services George Murray and Head Chef Mike Stagnaro to discuss these matters, as well as other concerns.
The Student Affairs Committee, a sub-committee of SGA, then took the floor with a resolution to mandate Community Council meeting attendance for Senators representing residence halls on the hill, including the Bryan and Cutten complexes.
This move is directed toward first- and second-year Community Councils, which, according to first-year Senator George Loomis III, have little or no leadership and shoddy attendance.
After more discussion, during which the option of attending these meetings by proxy was eliminated, the resolution was passed.
The meeting concluded with the confirmation of two new student groups: the Yoga Club and the Clogging Club (“The Colgate Cloggers”).
Some Senators were still feeling out the system of Parliamentary protocol during the debate sessions. Senior Parliamentarian Drew Lane recognized that what was getting done was more important than how it got done.
“You can work on it,” he said, laughingly reassuring the Senators. “We’re having fun with Roberts’ Rules [of Parliamentary Procedure] here.”