News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz

Town/Gown group creates climate of cooperation

More than a decade ago, administrators at SUNY New Paltz formed a Town/Gown Committee with the purpose of strengthening campus and community relations. Through monthly meetings, community and college leaders have the opportunity to discuss matters of common interest and concern.


Three members of the Town/Gown Committee, Joyce Minard, New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce president, Steven Poskanzer, SUNY New Paltz president and Don Wilen, Town of New Paltz supervisor serve birthday cake to celebrate the town's 325th and SUNY's 175th birthdays last year.

Although campus representatives met regularly with village and town leaders over the ’70s and ’80s, meetings simply stopped at one point, said Gail Gallerie, retired executive assistant to the president, a position she held for 34 years. The Town/Gown Committee was introduced during Dr. Alice Chandler’s tenure.

At the meetings, held at various locations throughout the community, each constituency provides a report of major issues. Common items of discussion include safety, noise, parking and planning for shared community events, such as the recent anniversary Birthday Bash celebration.

“I believe that numerous instances of cooperation on a variety of projects over time can be attributed to the climate created by these monthly meetings,” said Gallerie.

The Town/Gown Committee members are: Michael T. Benenati, EMT-P, New Paltz Rescue Squad assistant captain; Raymond Bryant, University Police chief; Edward Rhine, New Paltz Central School District interim superintendent; Victoria Passarella, Student Association president; Joyce Minard, New Paltz Chamber of Commerce president; Tom Nolan, Town of New Paltz police commissioner; Steven Poskanzer, SUNY New Paltz president; Lee Pritchard (Music), faculty representative; Jeff Salt, New Paltz Rescue Squad president; Raymond Schwarz, Student Affairs associate vice president; Jason West, village mayor; Donald Wilen, town supervisor; Shelly Wright, executive assistant to the president; Tony Yenzer, New Paltz fire chief; and Raymond Zappone, Town of New Paltz police chief.

AUGUST 2, 2004
Volume 2, Issue 14

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