The University Senate, a body of shared governance between students and faculty that decides and adjusts Hofstra’s bylaws, met for the fourth time this semester on December 10. The group met to discuss progress of their own subdivided committees and to discuss four new proposals for resolution. On the agenda were discussion of evaluation of deans, academic credit for significant leadership and service positions on campus, and a parking ban resolution that addressed student parking on South Campus.
After long and opinionated debate, the proposal for the evaluation of deans was approved, stating that adjunct deans will be evaluated every three years and other deans evaluated every two years. It will be passed on to the faculty committee for vote.
The agenda continued with proposal for academic credit for students with on-campus leadership positions. Undergraduate Affairs Chair Victor Lopez suggested that giving academic credit to students with higher leadership positions is a conflict of interest. The senate agreed to discuss the issue at the next University Senate meeting after Lopez was contacted through email by Co-Director of the Center Civic Engagement Greg Maney for additional discussion of the conflict of interest the resolution would place on students and faculty if passed at its current state.
The last and most crucial issue for students was a parking ban resolution of South Campus. This ban at its present condition states that students residing in dorms on North Campus are banned from parking on South Campus between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays during fall and spring semesters.
The original proposal was first brought to the attention of the committee in 2005. Planning and Budget Committee Chair Elizabeth Venuti said that although the resolution was passed by Planning and Budget in 2005, “for some reasons it fell through the cracks.” Venuti suggested that “in spirit of proper process it would be to bring it to the faculty, not rework it in committees.”
Senate Executive Committee Chair Stuart Bass recognized that the parking ban is a “Band-Aid solution,” and that it would be only the first step in dealing with Hofstra’s parking conflicts.
“I suggest we enforce it in the first step of a very serious situation,” said Bass.
The senate argued points for and against the ban, mentioning resident students who might need access to these parking lots, such as students from the School of Education who might need to load and unload their equipment; the concerns of School of Communication students; and talks with Public Safety about requests for temporary passes for eligible students.
Vice President of Student Affairs Sandy Johnson pointed out that there has been no recent communication with Public Safety on the topic, and as such the Senate should begin talks with the office soon.
The resolution was approved with a large majority vote, with the agreement that priority parking will be considered in the resolution’s final drafts. As with any approved proposition, it will go to the Full Faculty for vote and continue with its usual process of approval by the Provost’s office and then President Rabinowitz.
Currently, resident students are allowed to park on the academic side of campus as long as it is not designated as specific commuter or faculty parking. If the resolution fully passes, it will most likely go into effect in fall 2013.