Chancellor Robert Holub addresses SGA at Cape Cod Lounge

By Sam Hayes

Sam Hayes/Collegian
Sam Hayes/Collegian

After the freshly elected senators took their oath to adhere to SGA bylaws and faithfully represent the student body, Holub took the podium and addressed the crowd of veteran and rookie senators.

He congratulated the recently elected body and spoke about UMass’ prestige and its U.S. News and World Report ranking (94th), increased school donations, new building projects such as the new honors complex, and UMass Dining’s record-setting stir-fry in September.

After discussing UMass accomplishments, he moved on to what is still yet to be carried out in the coming months.

“We have to be better neighbors,” said Holub about a “small minority of students that get out of hand.” He said that the administration wants to work with the SGA to help students be “more considerate” of residents surrounding the University.

Holub continued to discuss the need to crack down on UMass’ party-school reputation.

“We all have to work on UMass pride, not ZooMass pride. It is an unfortunate label from the past, and I think it should be banned on the campus.”

The chancellor, who was invited to speak to the SGA by Senate Speaker Jarred Rose and other SGA members, said that he appreciated the opportunity to talk with the students.

“I think it is important to tell [the SGA] what I know is going on on-campus and to give them an opportunity to ask me questions,” said Holub in a brief interview following his speech.

Other senators and cabinet members remarked on Holub’s speech throughout the meeting.

SGA Attorney General Kyle Howard said that he disagreed with the chancellor about the importance of students being better neighbors.

“I’m tired of hearing that. The only reason this University is here is because of the students,” he said. “The concerns of the administrations shouldn’t be about the neighbors or politics; it should be about students’ rights.”

SGA Senator Ben Johnson said he mostly agreed with Holub’s address, but admitted that sometimes UMass makes him “scratch his head and say, ‘What happened?’”

Because the meeting was the first of the fall semester, there was a blend of bright-eyed new student representatives and third or fourth-term entrenched veterans.

Newly elected senator from the Northeast Residential Area, Brigid Thompson, 19, sophomore explained that she is excited and intimidated by her new position.

“It is overwhelming. This is first time participating in anything like this,” she said about the Senate.

After the meeting she said that there is “a lot to be done” this year and that she is “very honored” to have been elected to represent Northeast.

Brigid plans to focus on creating and assisting multicultural programs such as the South Asian Student Association.

Returning senator, Dan Stratford, said that being re-elected to the Senate, this time representing commuters, is “both great and humbling.”

The senior, who is now waiting to see what committee he will be appointed onto, said that he now realizes how quickly college and his time at the SGA have passed.

Sam Hayes can be reached at [email protected].