University Senate meeting revealed new blog, updates on governance

At yesterday’s monthly University Senate meeting, NYU’s eight committees and councils presented recent progress on university governance, a new student senator blog and issues with apparel sold by the NYU Bookstore.

The Senate Committee on Organization and Governance updated the University Senate on its proceedings in deciding representation for the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, which is set to become the School of Engineering in January.

The engineering school is expected to receive one representative for the Faculty Senators Council, one for the Dean’s Council and two student representatives — one undergraduate and one graduate.

SCOG has also been deliberating on the creation of a path to representation for nontenure faculty, which would alter the composition of the University Senate.

At the meeting, Student Senator Council chair and CAS senior Mariam Ehrari announced that the SSC has launched a new blog to facilitate communication with students.

The Public Affairs Committee said it has been considering concerns raised by the Student Labor Action Movement, which has been demonstrating against apparel companies that refused to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety Accord. Phil Christopher, the director of the NYU Bookstore, has been in contact with the Worker Rights Consortium, an independent organization that monitors working conditions.

NYU President John Sexton also explained the structure of the Momentum Campaign, the university’s $1 billion fundraising campaign. Sexton said 70 percent of the fundraising will go toward the endowment, which will lead to more financial aid, and 30 percent will fund current financial aid needs.

To finish the meeting, chair of the University Space Priorities Working Group Ted Magder spoke about the university’s expansion plans.

He noted that it makes greater economic sense for the university to own property rather than lease it. Magder noted that different configurations for classrooms — which can be conducive for either lectures, seminars, discussions or group-work — can lead to varying uses of space because certain room configurations can hold the same number of students but require more room.

Magder said the group is still deliberating on several issues, including different options for faculty housing and whether there should be student housing on the South Block.

In the debate over student housing on the South Block, Faculty Senator Rebecca Karl said the community is concerned that a student residence in the area could lead to noise pollution and other factors that might contribute to a decreased quality of life.

Senator-at-large Griffin Dooling, a Stern senior, said after the meeting that students would still have a large presence in the South Block if there are academic buildings there.

“[By] building academic space, students will be there in the same quantities,” Dooling said.

Michael Domanico is a news editor. Email him at [email protected]

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