SGA meeting: Clare College discussion

By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Feb. 12) — At its biweekly meeting, St. Bonaventure University’s Student Government Association opened the floor to two university administrators for announcements and suggestions.

Mike Fischer, provost and vice president for academic affairs, discussed the recent resignation of Dave DiMattio, dean of Clare College, and saw it as an opportunity to ask students what changes could be made to Clare College in general.

The administration will most likely hire an internal candidate to replace DiMattio, but it has no preconceived notions about any certain background it would like DiMattio’s replacement to have. Just as long as the candidate has experience with the curriculum, Fischer said.

The university may not even choose to name a dean of Clare College, Fischer said.

Many students and SGA members brought up possibly dividing Clare into each individual school/department. The intent would be to eliminate certain majors taking repetitive classes that they don’t feel are necessary.

Clare has changed much in the last few years, becoming more accommodating to transfer students and adding more flexibility to each Clare “requirement,” Fischer said. When Clare was established 15 years ago, there was no flexibility. Instead of satisfying a Clare requirement, you had to take the exact Clare course.

The only classes currently not available to be substituted for are the “core of the core:” Intellectual Journey (Clare 101), Catholic Franciscan Heritage (Clare 207), The Good Life (Clare 304) and University Forum (Clare 401), Fischer said.

Every student at Bonaventure must take these four classes.

When established, Clare essentially simplified the existing general education courses. Clare made a curriculum that every single student at Bonaventure would have to follow.

One of the intentions of Clare was to have professors teach specific courses. For example, an education professor would teach an inquiry in the social world class to a room of mostly education majors. Or a journalism and mass communication professor would teach a composition and critical thinking class to a room of mostly journalism and mass communication majors. But since many schools at Bonaventure have been in the process of being accredited since the establishment of Clare, the professors haven’t had the time to teach Clare courses, leaving a lot of them to the professors in the School of Arts & Sciences.

The university will look into the possibility of having individual departments teach specific classes, Fischer said.

Currently, each professor has a set of objectives he or she must meet while teaching the course. This method is an alternative to having a standardized reading list or exam, said Barry Gan, faculty senate chairman. He also said the university may look into adding a business-type course to the Clare curriculum after SGA members brought up the idea.

Students are encouraged to contact Fischer or Gan with any concerns they have with Clare.

Afterward, Rick Trietley, vice president for student affairs, announced the renovations to Robinson and Falconio halls. That announcement can be found here

Senator Alex Noguerola then announced several changes to the SGA’s constitution. Most of them are simply turning current practices into actual policy:

*The entire SGA executive board can make appointments of cabinet members and university committees

*Make the executive president the representative of SGA interests as its voting member on the faculty senate

*Establish an SGA membership committee that will update SGA on each club’s activities instead of having each individual club present once a semester, allowing the biweekly SGA meetings to focus more on administrative aspects

*Increase the number of required service hours for chartered clubs from 20 to 25. Strike the recently added clause that requires hours to be cumulative

Digital Media Club then took the floor for its first SGA presentation. The club, which hopes to be SGA-chartered next year, is a new strategic communication club that will focus on social media interaction. It plans to create a Twitter account, The Bona Wire, to help its interactiveness.

The meeting ended with SGA president Cody Clifford discussing the possibility of ending the Collegiate Readership Program. Traditionally, roughly $18,372 was spent each year from student activity fees towards the newspaper program (includes the USA Today, The Buffalo News, and The New York Times). This year the program was cut in half to roughly $9,000 as the student activity fund continued to shrink from low enrollments the last few years.

Clifford said that for the amount of money being spent, many of the newspaper stands around campus aren’t used as much as administrators would like. He also spoke about the majority of the newspapers being taken from the stands are by faculty and staff — neither of which pay a dime for the newspapers.

The money saved from ending the program could potentially go towards other events, Clifford said.

If anyone has any ideas about the readership program, please contact SGA (

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