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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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UB Students Elected to NYSSA E-Board


State representation for UB was given a good, hard boost last Saturday when UB students George Pape and Celine Traylor snagged two of four executive board positions on the New York State Student Assembly.

Pape, a junior history major, was elected vice president and Traylor, a senior dual-major in political science and African-American Studies, was elected treasurer. Fifty-four NYSSA delegates from over 35 SUNY campuses gathered in Old Fort William Henry in Lake George, N.Y. for the first of this year's two conferences.

"I'm thrilled," said Jennifer Brace, one of UB's three NYSSA delegates. "UB is definitely well-represented and any concerns we have are definitely going to be heard."

Student Association President Christian Oliver said Pape's and Traylor's new positions will enable them to pursue UB interests with greater success because they will have direct access to NYSSA President Chris Holland. Holland is a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees, the main governing body presiding over all state-funded institutions of higher learning.

"[The SUNY Board of Trustees] literally determines the fate of every campus," said Oliver.

Pape said his main goals as vice president are to "increase communication between the 64 campuses, the executive committees and the executive board" and to "increase the level of student participation when dealing with New York State on higher education bills." He believes NYSSA should serve as a "collective watchdog of all higher education bills and should advocate student rights.

What makes the SUNY system so unique and "interesting," according to Pape, is the wide variety of educational institutions available it offers to students, including community colleges, technical institutes, liberal arts colleges and large university centers like UB.

"For all these different schools to come together to work on the same issues is kind of impressive," he said.

As vice president, Pape will be responsible for overseeing the "day to day" activities of the assembly, maintaining communication between e-board members and assisting the president in planning the bi-annual conferences. In addition, he will also have the opportunity to serve as a member of various committees within NYSSA.

"I am happy to be given the opportunity to represent UB's interests at a state-wide level," said Pape.

Traylor served as NYSSA president last year. She decided to run for her new position as treasurer after one board member moved to Colorado and two others resigned for "personal reasons."

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"It's not a title thing," said Traylor. "It's all about helping each other and working toward a common goal that helps the schools."

As treasurer, Traylor is responsible for formulating NYSSA's budget, negotiating contracts with hotels for conferences, securing travel insurance for delegates and allocating funds toward the president's travel expenses.

She was confident in her ability to fill the role, since she is already familiar with the e-board's basic structure and functions and is a close friend of NYSSA's current president, who served as Traylor's vice president last year. In addition, the fiscal boost Traylor sought as president of NYSSA was granted this year when the state increased funding for the organization by $30,000.

She also believes that Pape will be effective in his new position.

"I think he's going to be a fabulous vice president," said Traylor.

Both students are heavily involved in student activities and organizations aside from NYSSA. Traylor served as president of Sub-Board I Inc. last year, prior to Pape's election to the same position this year.

Pape is also president of UB's Faculty Student Association, and was appointed by Oliver as a replacement for John Haumesser, UB's third NYSSA delegate who did not return to the university this fall.

Pape was confident his other responsibilities would not interfere with his ability to serve as an efficient vice president of NYSSA.

"I wouldn't have taken the position if I didn't feel I had enough time," he said.




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