Massachusetts Daily Collegian

SGA looks to help students groups

By Ashley Berger

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Marsha Gelin/Collegian

Marsha Gelin/Collegian

The agenda of the Student Government Association’s Wednesday meeting was to address issues concerning the student body and vote to help student organizations.

The Committee for Student Academic Affairs presented a short presentation detailing their current efforts in providing more bike racks around campus. The proposal has been submitted to the department of landscaping development and includes maps of residential areas and other crowded areas on campus. Suggestions for improvement include adding bike racks outside of Melville, Patterson, MacKimmie, Field, Brett and Brooks residence halls. The committee also plans to put in new bike racks in between the North Apartments and add on to existing bike racks in the Haigis Mall, near Mahar Lecture Hall and near Isenberg School of Management.

Arguably the most important motion on the table at the meeting was giving appropriations to the Sylvan Snack Bar, a student run business that has grown and expanded since its creation in 1971. Secretary of Finance Ben Johnson and SGA President Brandon Tower introduced students from the business and described a need for more funding.

President Tower pleaded his case to the room full of senators saying, “Student business and the Sylvan Snack Bar show professionalism and commitment to serving students. They are models for emulation and the SGA has a responsibility to reward those who so capably represent this University.”
According to the presentation, the snack shop has an independent budget, which allows the student-run organization to run without outside funding.

However, the business has struggled to keep up with business. Since the building of the North Apartments, traffic has exponentially grown. The student workers feel that, in order to live up to its fullest potential, the snack bar needs money from the SGA to hire two more employees.
The motion for additional funding passed the Senate.

Sponsored by Senator Blaine Stillerman, another motion was brought forth for a seemingly good cause. The motion called for support of the Bands for Arms cause, a volunteer project where bracelets are made to raise awareness and support the United States military. The motion further described the cause, explaining that the bracelets are all different and unique.

Some senators felt differently about the cause. They interpreted the motion as an endorsement and saw it as advertisement for the group. Senator Ellen Moorhouse began the questions and then motioned to strike it down because of an apparent appeal to advertisement. Senator Josh Davidson also said the group is not a nonprofit organization and typically the SGA only supports nonprofits in their endeavors.

Ultimately, Senator Stillerman defended his position and said he used the term “endorse” as a synonym for “support,” not as a means to give money to the group. After his reassurance, the Senate voted to pass the motion.

The final motion of the night was in accordance with the theme of supporting student groups. According to current regulations, the University of

Massachusetts Boxing Club is unable to spar without the supervision of a coach. Though the group has a professional coach, the team cannot to spar if he isn’t present because the involved students don’t have the proper training to clean up blood in a situation. The motion, sponsored by President Tower and

Senator Jarred Rose, would allow the Boxing Club to fully spar at all practices.

“If the Boxing Club can’t spar, then they basically can’t participate and simulate game conditions. If you can’t scrimmage and practice for a tournament, then essentially, what’s the point?” said Tower.

Senator Rose explained that the authority to help out this group lies with the Student Affairs Committee.

“Student fees paid for the construction of the Rec. Center and we think that we should have a say in how it is run and operated,” said Tower after the meeting.

“The Boxing Club is a club with almost 100 members, a dedicated staff of officers and coaches, who want to be able to partake in the sport of their choice. I feel it is my responsibility as president to go to bat for these groups.”

The final motion passed by a large majority.

The SGA will hold its next meeting next Wednesday in the basement of Campus Center.

Ashley Berger can be reached at [email protected]

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