SGC-MMC Senate discusses alternative to office hours

Adrian Suarez Avila/Staff Writer

Although the Student Government Council at Modesto A. Maidique Campus Senate will not be holding office hours, it still has an alternative in mind.

Senators met on Monday, Sept. 22, to discuss the possibility of hosting forums throughout the year, which students may attend to get their questions answered by their student body representatives.

Alian Collazo, lower division senator and chair of the student advocacy committee, suggested hosting public meetings that would take place every three weeks or perhaps once a month.

Some senators added their own takes.

Tomas Alcala, CARTA senator and speaker pro tempore, proposed that the Senate make use of social media as another means of engaging students in the discussions, allowing students to watch the panel online or submit questions through Twitter or Facebook.

In finding a middle ground between the two proposals, Charles Perretti, Senate speaker and graduate senator, advised that both avenues could be taken.

As such, Perretti argued, the student body would have options to choose from.

“We can tell people that they’re welcome to come [to the discussion or] can watch it online, since some of our students don’t have the capability to hang around,” said Perretti.

The discussion then turned to what level of formality the discussions would take.

“I would think casual [meetings] would be better,” said Daniel Lopez, lower division senator. “[The meetings] should be about engaging students.”

He noted that the casual setting in which students could mingle with senators would create a more welcoming environment, whereas a formal one would intimidate students.

Others didn’t agree.

Amanda Ferrer, education senator, argued that a formal layout with an organized panel of speakers would avoid the chances of students approaching senators who may not be suited to answer their questions effectively.

A panel, said Ferrer, would allow students’ questions to be taken up by the speaker best suited to answer it.

“This is only going to be successful if we market it appropriately,” said senator Alcala. “And [the work] can’t just come from the e-board or select members of the Senate and Cabinet. It has to be a joint [effort].”

Other business was also discussed.

Senators voted in favor of opening the Senate vacancy application period, which will allow students to apply for the positions of public health and social work, arts and sciences and at-large senators.

Students interested in applying will have until Oct. 6 to submit an application, which can be accessed by visiting the SGA website.

Talk of a film minor also took place.

Students interested in pursuing the minor will have to put the thought on hold.

Although both Phillip Church, associate professor in theatre, and Alcala created a list of courses for the potential minor and identified professors who would be able to teach the courses, but weren’t able to submit the proposal for the minor by the Sept. 17 deadline.

Students should not despair.

Alcala will be meeting with Church in the coming days in order to discuss the project’s current position, and how to move forward with it in the near future.

Thoughts on money were also floating around.

Due to an influx of applications from graduate students asking for funding through the Graduate and Professional Student Committee, the committee will be meeting this week to evaluate the applications.

According to Rhett Williamson, graduate senator and chair of the GPSC, reviewing applications periodically is important, especially now as the date of the events for which students are requesting funding are fast approaching.

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