Pace Community Holds its Fall Semester Community Meeting


JOSEPH TUCCI, Managing Editor

The Fall Semester Community Meeting was held in Kessel Student Center lastr Wednesday afternoon to allow administration and students to openly discuss various issues facing the university.

President of the Student Government Association (SGA) Daniel Garcia moderated the discussion.

Pace University’s Title Nine Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer Lisa Miles began the meeting by talking about how Pace’s Sexual Assault policy, particularly how the consent aspect, was formed.

“We had conversations with all facets of our university. We engaged faculty, staff, and particularly students about how we define sexual assault in our policy,” Miles said. “Essentially, what the new legislation says is that we should take a look if the [old policy of no means no] is the best model. Among looking at other things, like the way that students report sexual assault.”

Miles discussed the reasons that sexual assaults on campus are rarely reported, which include students being concerned about confidentiality, and not knowing what internal and external resources are available to them.

Based on feedback from students, sexual assault information is now being provided through brochures, the Pace website, and on the Flush Flashes in the bathrooms.

Miles ended her speech by mentioning how Pace has been recognized by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as a model to imitate in terms of policy.

“[Hochul] has said that Pace is in the forefront of what University policy should look like. We’re very proud of that; we know that administration has a great deal to do with that. It is also because we responded to the needs of our students,” Miles said.

The next topic addressed was The School of Education, by its Acting Dean, Xiao-Lei Wang. She discussed programs being added to the School of Education including aligning all of the core courses, so students can take more of them, reducing the amount of credits needed to finish the program, and allowing students to obtain multiple certificates.

The discussion moved into students addressing what they perceived to be a lack of communication between them and the administration.

“[Students] are expected to know a lot of the processes that happen on the administration side and I think a lot of the frustration that students get happens when a decision is made and [the students] don’t know why,” Student Government Association Vice President of Administration Raevin Walters said.

Students also raised concerns about the lack of security on campus. Junior Beverly Levine asked why there is not security at the entrances at all times.

“From the weekdays at nine to five, or nine to ten, there is no security at entrance three, period. When I went to Orientation I was told security would be there 24/7,” Levine said.

Director of Security Vincent Beatty responded by saying that there was never security at the entrance at all times, and that it has been that way for over 10 years.

Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association Kathryn Trujilo felt like the lack of 24-hour security at the entrance was making students feel unsafe, and asked what measures are being put in place to ensure the safety of students.

Beatty proceeded to list options available to students, and noted there is a low incident rate on campus.

“There are multiple things that we do to provide security on campus,” Beatty said. “The first thing we do is place several mobile patrol units around campus. We have access control on all of our residence halls. We also have cameras on all of our residence halls. We have code-blue phones throughout the campus and we have a 24-hour escort service. It provides students with transportation to any two points on campus if they need it.”

It was then discussed how administration can best reach students. Senior Chrystal Azatassou proposed the idea that security could partner with Chartwells [the provider of dining services] to provide information.

“There are so many clubs on this campus. [The administration] has to find out what clubs reach the most students. I notice that at common hour there are so many students that are just walking past,” Azatassou said. “Chartwells always does things where they give out free food, they have cupcakes, and those generate a lot of traffic. Pace University Security has cards that they give out with numbers you need to know, I have that [card] in my wallet but not many students do.”

Director of Student Development and Campus Activities (SDCA) Rachel Carpenter proposed a way for students to have their ideas reach administration easier.

“I think that we should take the extra initiative at Student Affairs and send them event calendars, [it can be] just a simple excel spreadsheet. Because that will give you ideas of the topics happening around campus,” Carpenter said. “So that if you don’t know that there’s an event on police brutality Vinnie Beatty can say ‘maybe I might want to send an officer there?’ If we don’t do our job, from my area, as far as we communicate, then an idea like [Azatassou’s], which was great, from a student, is going to go unused.”