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May 4, 2017

SGA officially confirms new vice president

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

The Student Government Association unanimously voted to confirm Lily Wallace as its vice president Monday.

For the SGA’s first meeting of the spring semester, President Anthony Vitale presented Wallace, a senior political science and BDIC major, before the Senate to officially appoint her. Vitale hired Wallace as his vice president Dec. 20, and she served as interim vice president until Monday.

As interim vice president, Wallace worked with the executive cabinet to help restructure it to ensure each member serves his or her position in the best way possible, according to Vitale.

“I think it’s fair to say that Lily is extremely qualified and also has the proven experience to be vice president as she has been serving as interim vice president for the past month,” Vitale said.

Wallace told the Senate of her experiences at the SGA, including her position as undersecretary of university policy and front desk manager at the SGA office.

She also cited other on-campus experiences including working as a resident assistant in Crampton Hall’s Nuance: Multicultural Student Program for three years, working with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and helping create the UMass Interfaith Alliance.

Secretary of University Policy Lucas Patenaude, whom Wallace served as undersecretary for, recommended Wallace to the Senate during the meeting.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Lily for a few years so personally I cannot recommend her enough for this position,” Patenaude said. “Her commitment to the campus, the student body and the wider community is humbling and inspiring.”

Patenaude added: “The work [she has] done in her short [time] in term is so great, and the work she’s going to be able to complete in the next month is going to be so huge for this organization.”

After answering questions from the Senate, Wallace was voted into office by the Senate. She then recited her oath of office administered by Speaker Lauren Coakley.

Wallace said her priority as vice president is to assess area governments within the next 30 days. Believing the governments have not focused enough on their respective areas, she plans to reform their operation with a focus on residential policy.

Wallace also wants to form a committee composed of area governors and SGA members who are knowledgeable about the area government’s bylaws and funding. The committee will review area governments and make necessary changes to improve them.

Nick Rampone, former vice president of the SGA, resigned at the end of last semester to study abroad in Shanghai, China. Vitale said Rampone agreed with his decision to hire Wallace.

According to Rampone, the vice president position was created less than a decade ago. His mid-term resignation was the first of its kind, so Wallace’s spring semester confirmation was uncharted territory for the SGA.

Though Wallace is a senior, she doesn’t plan on graduating at the end of the semester. She will retain her position into the 2017-18 school year.

Jack Martin can be reached at johnmartin@umass.edu.

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