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The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

Construction on Campus Discussed at the Final Town Hall of the 2023-2024 School Year

Alexandra Cortese
Inside the May 14th Town Hall

On May 14th, 2024 President Karol Mason, Faculty Senate President Karen Kalpowitz, and Interim Student Council President Yarik Munoz all gathered to host the final Town Hall of the school year.

Today’s Town Hall was moderated by Professor Elton Beckett.

As guests took their seats. They found a copy of “RESPECT Ground Rules” placed on their chair. 

The Ground Rules for the May 14th Town Hall (Alexandra Cortese)

Today’s Town Hall recapped a year of what students have perceived to be a tense year, since this Town Hall concluded a year that protests swept college campuses in light of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Jay Walk’s closing was a main topic of concern for students at this Town Hall. 

Despite speculation that the Jay Walk was closed to prevent an encampment from occupying the Jay Walk, President Mason commented that the reason for the Jay Walk’s closing is a construction project that will take place on it over the summer. 

In an interview, Interim Student Council President Munoz commented on this development, “the Jay Walk was closed for construction.” He said, “It wasn’t for anything else that is being speculated.”

In addition to the summer construction project that will reportedly be occurring on the Jay Walk, in today’s Town Hall it was mentioned there will also be a noticeable change in the appearance of the 57th Street entrance of Haaren Hall. 

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Flower commented during Town Hall that there will be scaffolding outside Haaren Hall in the near future. He explained this is a part of another construction project on John Jay’s campus. 

The construction on Club Row will reportedly conclude in the summer as well. 

Interim Student Council President Munoz commented on this development in our interview, “It should be done by late July.” 

Students, who joined the meeting virtually, asked the hosts about the availability of online classes. 

Provost Designee Allison Pease explained that John Jay will slowly be decreasing the number of online classes offered in efforts to transition from the online-era of the pandemic. 

Pease explained she hopes students can experience the college experience in-person and online classes will remain for those who choose to register for them. 

The state of student bonds amongst college protests was a hot topic that was discussed at today’s Town Hall. 

President Mason was directly questioned by multiple students about John Jay’s stance on the NYPD being present at the protests that have happened at City College’s campus during spring break. 

In response to these questions, President Mason explained John Jay did not release a statement about this incident because John Jay reportedly had no involvement in the City College protests. 

This question prompted another student to ask the hosts if additional safety procedures are being implemented at commencement, due to the demonstrations that are happening at other commencements. 

The Director of Public Safety Diego Ranalo answered this question by advising that students and guests to adhere to the safety regulations that are put forth by Barclays Center.

In addition to the mention of global conflicts, the discourse that has occurred in our own Student Council was also addressed during this Town Hall. 

Former Student Council President Aiisha Qudusi was reportedly impeached from Student Council in April. The Student Council has not released a statement providing the reason for her impeachment. 

When asked about how transitioning from the role of Vice President to the role of Student Council President was, Interim Student Council President Munoz explained that, “it was rough because at one point I had two positions.” 

As an effort to unite student executives, Interim Student Council Munoz hopes to revive the Club Planning Committee (CPC), which he explained as all club presidents gathering in the Student Council office to plan collaborative events on campus. 

Interim Student Council Munoz shared his hopes this effort will result in “more club collaboration, more of the budget will be spent,” said Munoz.

When asked about the current state of the Student Council bonds, Interim Student Council Munoz underscored his main belief that, “the council is supposed to be fun and effective.”

At the conclusion of Town Hall, the hosts made their closing remarks. All of which underscored a message of the prioritization of student well-being. 

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About the Contributor
Alexandra Cortese
Alexandra Cortese, Editor-in-Chief

Alexandra Cortese is a junior at John Jay College. She is majoring in law & society and is minoring in English literature.

Alexandra has previously served as the Web Editor for The Sentinel during the 2023 spring semester, as the Managing Editor for the fall 2023 semester, and is now the Editor-in-Chief. Alexandra’s love for writing motivates her to still write freelance and has been doing so since September 2022.

Alexandra is also a member of The John Jay Honors Program, Sigma Tau Delta international English honor society, and was a research assistant at The Legal Disruption Project during the Fall 2023 semester. 

Alexandra’s favorite story she has written is “Greek Life at CUNY.” She feels Greek life is controversial and her story pushes the envelope on that subject matter in the voice of John Jay students. Alexandra’s story dives into the stained reputation of Greek life and how John Jay sorority and fraternity members are challenging that narrative by emphasizing diversity, equity concerns, and community service.

Alexandra hopes to capture the vibrant community within John Jay in her role as editor-in-chief.

Alexandra’s favorite quote is “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm Possible!” - Audrey Hepburn.

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