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SGA OKs new cabinet, calls for more student involvement in campus planning

Cade Belisle/Collegian

In the second to last meeting of the year, the SGA approved the new administration’s cabinet appointees and passed a motion to recommend more students be involved in the committees and subcommittees that create the campus’ Strategic Plan.

The new cabinet was selected by new SGA President Zachary Broughton along with Vice President Emily Hajjar and new Student Trustee Megan Kingston, all of whom were elected earlier this semester.

Junior Emily Notini was appointed attorney general of the SGA, current Orchard Hill Area Governor Ellie Miske was appointed secretary of the registry, and student veteran Brendan Davenport was appointed secretary of veteran affairs.

Lindsay Vitale will serve as the new secretary of finance, current SGA Senator Kabir Thatte will serve as secretary of outreach, and Madison Burke will be secretary of sustainability.

The Senate also approved the appointment of Preston Davis – who campaigned for the vice president position this spring — as secretary of diversity. Steven Jones was appointed the secretary of web management, and Renee Barouxis is the secretary of University policy and external affairs.

Monday night’s agenda also included a motion to recommend to the Chancellor that more students be involved in the committees, subcommittees and initiatives of the University’s Strategic Plan report.

According to the meeting, of the more than 130 people involved in creating the first draft of this Strategic Plan, only eight were students. While the Joint Task Force on Strategic Oversight consists of 31 members, less than half of which are students, recommended by the Chancellor and Faculty Senate.

The report outlines the long-term agenda for improvement that the Chancellor will present to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as part of the campus’s fifth-year interim accreditation report in August.

The motion, sponsored by Senator Anne-Marie Mombourquette, passed unanimously and provides the Chancellor with a list of ten recommended sources, including the Center for Student Development and the Residence Hall Association, which could be used to gather more students interested in serving on the Strategic Plan committees.

In other business, Senate Speaker Hayley Mandeville ruled dilatory former President Akshay Kapoor’s veto of last week’s motion approving space allocations for Registered Student Organizations. The ruling finalizes the allocations for next year.

Senator Willis Chen announced that according to UMass Dining, the Blue Wall would be renovated during the spring 2014 semester and set for re-opening in the following fall.

The Senate also unanimously passed a motion to endorse the passing of H.R. 1330: The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2013 in the United States House of Representatives.

In his legislative address, President Zachary Broughton presented his vision for the upcoming year, which includes plans to call for student-friendly construction, cheaper parking passes, smoking-designated areas for student smokers, cheaper books and a new Student Union, among other initiatives.

Broughton highlighted student involvement as vital to success, and said that he plans to unite the key student organizations on campus like the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy (CEPA), the Residential Hall Association and the Graduate Student Senate in an effort to achieve collective student action.

Eric Bosco can be reached at ebosco@student.umass.edu

 

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