No new safety senator
No one was appointed to the vacant parking and safety senator position during Wednesday’s Associated Students, Inc. senate meeting – the first meeting of the fall semester.
ASI President Demi Wack told the senate that so far one person expressed interest in the position, and added the senate personnel committee will be holding interviews next week.
The senate unanimously appointed Senator Elizabeth Rocha Zuniga to the position of senate secretary. The senate secretary is in charge of the ASI elections every spring and serves on the judicial committee.
New students, USU, Blackboard
Earlier in the meeting, Dr. Frank Lamas, the vice president for the division of student affairs and enrollment management, told senate members this year’s New Student Convocation went well and that the Bulldog Bash was probably the most spirited so far. He said more than 2,000 new students attended.
Lamas also said planning for the new University Student Union will get underway this semester. He said he anticipates it being a year-long process. He highlighted the Money Management Center’s new portal, Unleashed, and that the university awarded over $250 million in financial aid last year.
Chief Information Officer Orlando Leon said Fresno State will be transitioning to Canvas from Blackboard this year. He also said the Adobe Creative Suite software package should be available to students on either the first or second day of classes.
New academic policies, resources
Academic Senate chair Dr. Tom Holyoke talked about a number of items the senate is working on, including changing how student evaluations are done. He said the senate is discussing whether to renew the agreement with the current evaluation vendor or develop an in-house evaluation process. He also said the academic senate will be examining possible changes to class syllabuses. He said students have complained about the large amount of what they feel is “useless” information.
Holyoke also said there have been complaints from students who say they’re uncomfortable about comments made in classes. He said the Academic Senate will be looking at that. Holyoke also said a policy on recording classes is in the works.
Malia Sherman, director of counseling services at the campus health center, provided a brief overview to senators. She said Let’s Talk, the free, confidential, drop-in counseling resource away from the health center, will have a second location this semester. Sessions will be available in Industrial Technology 242 Monday through Thursday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. as well as in the Kremen Education Building.
ASI grants, activities, talks
ASI Impact Grant awards were unveiled at Wednesday’s meeting. Organizations receiving grants include $9,700 for DeafSpace in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies; $10,000 for technology for chemists and biochemists in the chemistry department; $2,500 for Student Involvement to bring Tarana Burke, creator of #MeToo, to Fresno State to speak; and $1,000 to the women’s studies department for their gender, race, and sexuality conference.
ASI Vice President of Finance Ben Warmerdam said he’s working on a mural project on the concrete block wall facing Cedar Avenue at the tennis courts. He said he wants to improve the aesthetics of what now is a large blank wall. He also said he’d like other murals done elsewhere on campus.
Warmerdam briefly spoke about this year’s ASI budget. He said last year’s actual numbers won’t be available until sometime in September. He said this year’s budget proposes $792,000 in both revenues and expenses.
ASI Director of Operations Tara Powers-Mead said a bus trip to Reno for the Fresno State-University of Nevada football game is set for Oct. 6. Tickets for the bus ride are $20 each. She also said there won’t be any free daily planners available this year.
Elias Karam, the ASI executive vice president, said there are talks with The Fresno Bee about potentially restarting their involvement in the ASI Readership program. He said he’s working with campus chief information officer Leon to have a limited amount of free printing every month for all Fresno State students.
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified Orlando Leon.
Editor’s Note: A quote inaccurately attributed to ASI President Demi Wack should have been attributed to ASI Executive Vice President Elias Karam. The quote has been omitted and this story has been updated.