SGA Passes Priority Point Decision, Moves to President Yellen

Members of the Marist Student Government Association (SGA) met on Wed., Apr. 3 to vote for a resolution on the issue of priority points.

Nine members of the president’s cabinet, regional representatives, and class presidents voted to abolish the priority point system and, in its place, implement a preference system similar to the one incoming first year students use to select their housing at orientation.

“When someone says that an aspect of campus is systematically discriminatory, the first answer should be, ‘well how do we fix it,’ not ‘let’s keep it,’” stated Student Body President for 2018-2019 Ted Dolce.

If this proposal is accepted by Marist College President David Yellen, students will rank their housing choice in order of most preferred to least. The new system also guarantees housing for sophomore students so that they will not have to worry about finding a residence on campus while simultaneously being introduced to the housing selection process for the first time, according to Dolce.

Similar to the freshman housing selection at orientation, this new system will also allow an appeal process to the housing department if students are not happy with their placement.

“No one has said ‘we must abolish the system that the freshman class has,’” Dolce said. “At the end of the day it’s your choice. And it also allows students who are lower socio-economic to choose a place that’s more affordable to them.”

Dolce introduced three different proposals to the members of SGA following spring break.

To draft the three proposals, Dolce reviewed feedback received from students over numerous platforms, such as a Google Forum that was released, notes from Town Hall meetings, and DMs received through his Instagram, @presidentdolce, in addition to discussing the matter with members of SGA.

The first proposal outlined a similar priority point system where the amount of GPA points a student could earn would be lowered, and on-campus jobs would be added to the campus involvement portion. This proposal received five votes.

Another proposal opted to once again modify the current priority point system, but would instead only include room condition and discipline since, to Dolce, campus involvement and GPA were viewed as the most discriminatory categories. Only two members of SGA voted for this option.

Before the Assembly voted to submit the selected proposal, a revote was taken due to numerous members of SGA abstaining their vote in the first round.

The proposal was submitted to President Yellen’s office Thurs. afternoon, where he will either accept or reject the recommendation.

Dolce further added, “in recognizing the priority point system has these elements, and [in] recognizing that these elements go against the very aspect, the very breadth of our mission statement and our strategic plan, it couldn’t stay as is.”