After the student representatives on the CAS Board at SUNY New Paltz were overruled and outvoted, the students attending the meeting began to see that this student inclusion had no meaningful decision making power on the board.  Students attending the meeting held up signs protesting a $300,000 vending machine and the non-transparency of the administration.  The administration called an “executive session” (meaning everyone the board doesn’t want there has to leave), and the students stayed seated.  The police arrived telling the students to leave, soon to be followed by the campus lawyer. After discussion amongst themselves, the students agreed to wait outside the building if they could address the board.  The board said one person could speak, to which one student replied “Wow, what a perfect way to sum up our grievances with the board.”  After multiple students addressed the Board (one saying “If you don’t want to be held accountable for your actions, choose different actions”) they left peacefully and waited outside, where they were greeted by excited food service workers at the door.  The students and food service workers spoke for almost an hour outside, the food service workers having a lot of praise and thanking the students for what they did.  "We are in a different position, we can be fired for speaking back to the administration. You students were speaking for us there, whether you knew it or not" one service worker told students.  Students and service workers both agreed that they should work together in the future. The vote that was scheduled for the meeting to choose the camus’s next food contract was not held.

SUNY New Paltz Students are being forced by the University Police to leave the Campus Auxiliary Services Board meeting to decide the next food service provider.

Today, I realized how real the war over food is as well how the student voice is no longer a priority but a minority- being forcibly removed by the University Police Department for refusing to leave an open meeting that decides the next long term food provider which is coming out of the pockets of students and which directly affects them and the workers is unjust. Calling an executive session in the middle of one of the most important decisions after stating how they (CAS Board) have been “completely transparent” with us, has made me lose faith in this school’s administration even more. Shame on them for punishing us for speaking up and standing up for ourselves and taking away our rights. 6 TO 4 IS NOT AN EVEN SCORE!

Students tried to attend a meeting last month, the food service provider interviews but were not allowed. Not even allowed to listen. Then students decide to come to a CAS meeting and speak, and are kicked out even though the CAS Board says they are “transparent.” We want our voices heard. The students on CAS HEAR THEM. It’s the rest of them that don’t. I have full faith in my student CAS representatives, but unfortunately you need at least 2/3rd vote or majority vote to have any sway with voting on CAS and luckily the non student members of CAS have a 2/3rds presence on CAS, and lucky for them they all happen to be on the same page and often vote together. Today I saw two votes happen at the CAS meeting where the students voted to extend the public commentary so more kids could speak, but there was a 2/3rds objection. I saw a motion to go into executive order with a majority vote. Guess who objected? The four students. Tell me how it’s fair that our votes can be totally unaccounted for when it comes down to making decisions.

So after that vote…we stayed. They called the police to escort us out, but we stayed, because this is not okay. We’ve been continuously silenced, shut down, and ignored. It’s time to make our voices heard because this administration clearly does not want to listen.
6 to 4 is not an even score.

—  Quotes and social media responses from student at SUNY New Paltz after the administration decided that the best way to deal with being called “non-transparent” is to make the public leave the current meeting. After deciding not to extend the public comments period (cutting off people who came to speak) students held up signs in response to the board and covered their mouths with duct tape, similar to the student reaction at Stony Brook recently. Students had not been allowed on the board in the past, now they are up to 4 seats on the CAS (Campus Auxiliary Services), and are pushing for 2 more seats, which would give a balance to the board and allow meaningful student decision making Pictures and video soon to come.