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Tuesday, July 05, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

Pape to be Confirmed as SUNY Trustee


UB student George Pape will be ceremonially confirmed as the newest member to the State University of New York Board of Trustees next Thursday, Feb. 26 in New York City.

The event will take place at SUNY Maritime following a meeting of the SUNY Board, at which the SUNY chancellor, provost, vice chancellor and vice provost will be present. Pape will give a brief speech following his confirmation.

The Board of Trustees is the 16-member body that guides all policies within the SUNY system. The governor is responsible for the appointment of 15 of the trustees, while the remaining seat is reserved for the president of the New York State Student Assembly, a position then-Vice President Pape inherited when NYSSA President Christopher Holland resigned earlier this semester to pursue doctoral research in Alabama.

In addition to the students at UB, Pape is obligated to represent the entire student population within all of SUNY's 64 campuses.

"This is great because this is the community I'm from, this is where I grew up, this is where I go to school, this is my everyday life," said Pape. "So if problems or issues arise here, this is a direct link from the University at Buffalo to the SUNY Board of Trustees."

Since Holland's resignation, Pape has visited Albany several times and has met with SUNY legal counselors and the SUNY public relations department and received general debriefing on current issues the board is addressing. Pape also spoke with Vice Chancellor and Secretary of SUNY John O'Connor.

"I spoke with him about how we can bring the student assembly to a higher level of effectiveness," Pape said. "And he's pledged as much support as possible."

Pape owes his political involvement in part to fellow UB student Celine Traylor, who first convinced him approximately three years ago to take an active role in NYSSA. Since becoming president, Pape has appointed Traylor to the position of NYSSA vice president.

Pape hopes to address a number of different policies, some of which include the Tuition Assistance Program, binding referendums and the alcohol referenda. The latter calls for tighter regulation of on-campus alcohol, a policy Pape hopes to counter by preserving wine tasting and similar events for graduate students and undergraduates who are of legal drinking age.

Pape also plans to join a variety of subcommittees because "the real meat of where everything happens is in the subcommittees" and plans to listen to the Student Life Committee, a committee responsible for representing student concerns or objections.

In an attempt to distinguish himself from the previous president, Pape said, "Holland had more or less of a lackadaisical attitude when it came to a specific area, say tuition increase, whether it be for a law school or medical school, that he wasn't directly involved with. I understand my constituency and I'll definitely be representing their interests even if I'm not a law or medical student."

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"I believe I'm going to become a pretty active trustee, and making sure that student interests are heard. A lot of times student rights get shuffled under paperwork when you have a 16-member board and only one student representative."

Pape, a junior history major, holds a number of offices at UB, including president of Sub-Board I and president of the Faculty Student Association, and is one of UB's three NYSSA delegates.

When asked if he will continue holding all positions, Pape said to "check back in a couple of weeks."




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