Chief Deputy to the President of Stony Brook University Judith Greiman, Title IX Coordinator Marjolie Leonard and Dean of Students Timothy Ecklund spoke at the Undergraduate Student Government senate meeting on Thursday evening to deliver a clearer understanding about the recent changes to university policies.
The meeting began with a moment of silence for Miguel Lorenzo Roncal, a student who recently passed away due to injuries from a vehicular accident.
Greiman then provided a synopsis of Stony Brook’s “Tobacco Free Initiative,” a new policy that will prohibit smoking on Stony Brook campuses.
“There is a health motive, but it’s really about a culture of respect,” she said.
The initiative will be beneficial for the environment, and there are programs that aid in the cessation of smoking for both students and faculty, like nicotine replacement therapies and group work through Counseling and Psychological Services, Greiman said.
Greiman noted that there is concern about the implementation of the new policy.
“It is definitely something that you have to kind of ease in to,” she said.
There will be no UPD enforcement, but enforcement will be community-based and peer-to-peer, Ecklund said.
“What UPD enforces is the laws of New York State, so this doesn’t fall within that category,” he said.
In terms of enforcement through RAs, Ecklund said “there is no expectation that RAs are going to be writing students up that are smoking outside their buildings.”
RAs are responsible for what happens inside of their buildings and it will continue that way, Ecklund said.
Some senators expressed concern for the minority of students who do choose to smoke because smoking cigarettes is legal and there are smokers who do not intend to quit.
“Being that it is legal, is there any way that there can be a smokers’ area?” Sen. Troy Chinnici asked.
“While it’s legal in the world, you can’t smoke in a lot of different places in this country, and this will be one of them,” Greiman explained. “People can smoke elsewhere, and there will certainly be nobody knocking on car windows.”
Greiman pointed out that the policy does not say that a person cannot smoke but that they cannot smoke on Stony Brook University grounds.
“What we want to do is focus on how we can, as a community, embrace this as a principle that guides our community and work together to try to figure out how do we enforce this and how do we compel others who are choosing not to follow the policy, to follow it,” Ecklund said
The “Tobacco Free Initiative” will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
Leonard, the university’s Title IX Coordinator, briefly explained the new changes to the university’s Title IX policy. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently passed the “Enough is Enough” legislation, which mandates that all colleges and universities in New York State have defined procedures regarding Title IX.
Leonard said that the alcohol and drug amnesty policy frees individuals to come forward to report any Title IX incident, even if they were involved in any underage drinking or drug use.
This policy directly affects students, and it is essential to learn and understand the policy, Leonard said. If a student is found responsible for a Title IX violation that is considered a sexual assault as defined by the code of conduct, he or she will face either suspension or expulsion from the university.
Leonard said that there will be ongoing training, which is necessary for key student groups like student leaders, athletes and international students. Leonard also highlighted the recent appointment of Complainant Navigator/Advocate Samantha Winter.
“If you are a victim of a sexual violence or if you know of somebody who is, and you’re not sure what you want to do, and you want to talk to somebody confidentially, you can call her,” Leonard said. “If you want to go to the SANE [Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner] Center or make a police report, but don’t want to make it by yourself, you can call her.”
Leonard said that Winter’s job covers both students and faculty and that she can only report non-identifiable information that can show potential trends and patterns. More information about the policy and contact information can be found on the Title IX website.
The senate later approved Solar Racing Team Appropriations Act. With a budget of $2,000, representatives from the team said the money will be used to build a solar powered boat because in the past, new members did not have work to do to keep them interested. The vote was unanimous. The senate also approved the Special Services Council (SSC) budgets of eight clubs.