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Behavior Commission Holds 1st Meeting

12/03/2013 

The joint city/College commission on student behavior issues and their impact on the community held its organizational meeting last week and mapped out a strategy that includes eight public meetings. 

The 20-member group also approved the charge given them by Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin and SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum: develop recommendations to the city and College that take a comprehensive approach to policies, procedures, programming, services, rules and assessment with respect to student behavior, safety and related concerns during the weekend of the Cortland-Ithaca football game. 

The commission created four subcommittees to deal with issues involving different segments of people affected by, or involved in, the Nov. 16 series of incidents coinciding with the game. They include members of the community, students, landlords and local businesses. Two public meetings will be held for each group, and members of the public will be invited to share information and ideas.

The commission will also hold at least eight closed-door meetings, starting Dec. 9, to discuss various aspects of the problem and possible solutions. Minutes describing what happened during those meetings will be posted publicly on the College website shortly afterward.

Commission members are working with the College to create those web pages. A link to them will be shared with the public and the news media.

“Transparency is very important to us,” said Kimberly Pietro, SUNY Cortland vice president for institutional advancement and co-chair of the commission. “We’re trying to balance the need to involve and engage the public with the need to focus dispassionately on the issues surrounding Cortaca and discuss them plainly.”

Former Cortland Mayor Bruce Tytler M ’88, CAS ’05 is the commission’s other co-chair.

The meetings are scheduled through the end of March. Additional meeting dates will be set as needed.