Town hall meeting draws criticism, budget increase is discussed at USG meeting

Franklin Hagler, Staff Writer

“I provided this opportunity because at meetings prior there were many complaints to Chief Carey, and then barely any students show up when it’s actually the time,” a frustrated United Students Government President Jorden said. “I feel more of a presence in this room of senators than I did at that meeting from our students.”

Strong concerns and great dialogue was raised at this year’s first town hall meeting. However, the overall lack of attendance by students was the topic of this week’s USG Senate meeting.

The town hall meeting was called to give students a chance to voice their concerns directly to President Katherine Conway-Turner, Vice President of Student Affairs Hal Payne, University Police Chief Peter Carey, and other top school officials.

“We posted flyers, got it out on social media and had a huge sign in the union the day of the event, so if you lived on campus, you saw it,” Administrative Vice President of Public Relations Asiria Cornielle stated. “We had to work in a tight deadline to get the word out and we worked very hard to do that.”

However, some students and senate members alike questioned the timing and the effectiveness that Buffalo State and USG had in promoting the town hall meeting.

The abruptness of the announcement was also surprising and left many working students with little options. Senator Cuffie said “many of our students work retail, so announcing that something will happen a couple days prior, when we have been waiting for weeks was kind of unfair. I really wanted to attend but I couldn’t because I need more notice to get off from my job.”

Conway-Turner announced the meeting at the bottom of a campus-wide email sent the Wednesday prior. Other students who could not attend the meeting felt that there were better ways to announce such an important thing.

“The email was so long, like I don’t know who reads all the way to the bottom of those things,” senior Kyle Earl said, who admitted to seeing the email and getting multiple notifications that day from the school. “It’s hard to know which ones are actually saying anything.”

Student activity fees were another topic spoken about at this week’s meeting, as the need for an increase was discussed.

“Our fees have been the same for years and was made when we only had 20 organizations, we have nearly double that and they all need events,” Administrative Vice President for Academic Affairs Jamilia Kelly said.

Students still have mixed emotions about this increase, but no concrete changes have been made and would not take place until the next academic year.

“Nothing is the same as it was before, a coffee is like $6 at Starbucks, and a burger from McDonald’s is $5.99 when it used to be 50 cents,” Jorden said. “The economy is changing and we need to change with it.”


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