York College President Marcia V. Keizs and Student Government leaders discussed an indoor, three-session commencement ceremony for each of York College’s three schools at a recent meeting along with security, new computers and York College flags.
The meeting’s main focus was a plan scheduled to be implemented this year. President Keizs hoped to help protect graduating students from the possibility of rain or excessive heat at their commencement.
The first ceremony will be held at 9 a.m., the second will be at 1 p.m. and the third will be at 5 p.m. The three events will be shorter in time than the one college-wide ceremony and will involve a rotation of the three schools.
Keizs commented on the luck the college has had in recent years in terms of avoiding rain, but added that the expense of renting a tent has become a growing problem.
“The matter of the tent [seems] to be getting more and more expensive as we go along [and] a little out of our control,” said Keizs.
Keizs added that the ceremony plan is designed to keep York’s “small college feel” for a college that has grown to a population of more than 8,000 students.
At the meeting, a student senator worried that Keizs may give a 5 p.m. ceremony less energy than an early morning ceremony. Keizs said that some of the graduation activities will be handled by the deans of each school, though she will be present at all ceremonies.
The meeting shifted its focus onto computer upgrades for faculty and students. According to Chief Information Officer Peter Tighe, the school will upgrade 400 Windows computers to the Windows 7 operating system during upcoming school breaks.
The computer upgrades will be in the library and in some student labs, the Health and Physical Education Building, and one classroom in the Classroom Building.
He also proposed upgrading Mac computers in the future.
Student Senators then shifted the meeting’s focus to security issues. They explained their concerns about the lack of proper ID checks at the AC building’s various entrances.
York College campus security Director Tyrone Forte said he shared some of those concerns and proposed to make changes using a system similar to an MTA turnstile.
“I have developed a proposal that I am about to give to the V.P. for a reconstruction of three of the points for the academic core,” said Forte. “Hopefully it will eventually solve that problem to where it will be an outside area that would be enclosed and the campus community would have to come through, which would have those things.”
Forte added that it is an expensive futuristic idea that will take time to be implemented.
The meeting concluded with the discussion of adding flags bearing York’s logo throughout the campus in the coming two years as the college reaches its fiftieth anniversary.
Responding to a final question about the progress of the plan to demolish the Classroom Building and replace it with a modernized tower, Keizs said that the progress remains stalled due to the Governor’s focus on other projects, but she added that among CUNY schools, York is in the top three in terms of state funding objectives. Keizs remains passionate about the effort and plans to continue going to Albany to achieve that goal.
“We’ve got to keep the pressure on, because we need our academic village for sure,” said Keizs.