Senators Informed on Campus Issues

The Student Government Association (SGA) Senate meeting on Tuesday, October 4, was heavy on presentations and light on discussion.

“It’s good to get [senators’] information so they can talk knowledgeably to their constituents,” SGA Vice President Preston Burnes said.

The meeting centered on talks from University President Rebecca Chopp, Dean of the College Adam Weinberg and Vice President for Administration Mark Spiro.

Chopp commented on several of the year’s initiatives and issues, such as building projects, the wireless initiative and the search for a new Dean of the College.

Chopp called for the SGA’s input on problems students may be having with the transition out of the old Case Library building renovation has been re-started after various construction difficulties.

She also reported on the excavation and landscaping of the Robert Hung-Ngai Ho Science Building, which began on Monday, October 10.

Colgate is moving toward offering wireless Internet access “everywhere that students live or study,” according to Chopp. In the future, this may include Broad Street locations, as well as off-campus apartments. Olin Hall may prove difficult to include in the wireless network, because it is a stone building within a building.

Additionally, Chopp said that a search committee would soon be meeting with student groups about searching for a new Dean of the College to replace Weinberg, who will be leaving Colgate in December to become Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at World Learning and the School for International Training. She asked the SGA to come up with a list of character traits that would be of value in a candidate for this position and said that candidates will be around campus by January 2006.

In his brief speech, Weinberg spoke optimistically about the future of student leadership at Colgate. Response to the first-year class elections, he said that it was the most enthusiastic it has been for a decade.

Weinberg feels that this year’s Senate is remarkably promising.

“SGA works best when three things occur,” Weinberg said, “When it has leadership that makes it about you, not them, when it gives itself time to have really good debate, and when it isn’t fixated on a single issue.”

Spiro gave a Capital Projects Report, presenting on the Case Library and Ho Science Center projects.

Case Library, when renovated, will be five stories high. Current design plans emphasize brightness, with an abundance of skylights, lighting fixtures and two-story windows. Spiro said that, barring inflation, the project will be completed at its original price estimate. The library should be finished by fall 2006.

Construction for the Ho Science Center, which is taking place between Olin Hall and Wynn Hall, began on Monday even though the design process is still incomplete. Plans for the science center include an atrium and a courtyard in the back and a 3-dimensional visualization library at the top. It will be three times the size of the average Colgate building by square footage, but two of its stories will be underground, lending it a large, flat appearance.