SGA: Research needed on possible changes to government formation from Commonwealth Honors complex

By Chris Kornichuk

With the anticipated completion of the Commonwealth Honors College residential complex looming near, the Student Government Association voted on Monday to initiate a study of its potential effect on the current structure of the SGA Senate.

Maria Uminski/Collegian

The Center for Education Policy and Advocacy will be conducting the study and will focus its research on other school senates similar to the University of Massachusetts’ current structure and situation.

CEPA is scheduled to report back in January of 2013.

“The opening of the Commonwealth Honors College residential complex will bring about lots of changes which will greatly affect the Senate,” Speaker of the Senate Hayley Mandeville said. “Basically, we’re asking, ‘How do other comparable senates function?’”

The Commonwealth complex, located on campus between the Boyden Gymnasium and the Recreation Center, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013.  It will house 1,500 undergraduates, along with faculty apartments and classrooms.

The opening of the complex will also introduce a new area of campus, which may possibly require SGA representation through formation of a new Area Government,

“Eventually we will have to make a decision, and that may mean taking seats away,” Mandeville said.

The introduction of the new residential area may also come with more needs for funding, which the SGA will have to take into consideration with their yearly allocation of 2 million dollars for Registered Student Organizations.

“I will make my decisions from what I read from that paper,” Mandeville said about the CEPA reports.

With the unanimous passing of the motion, Mandeville said that the study will “definitely benefit our campus.”

The SGA also granted $1,720 in funding to the Jewish Student Union for security costs for their function, “A Night in Tel Aviv.”

While Matthew Dornfeld, president of the JSU, said that 2011’s event – which ended up triggering a fire alarm through use of a fog machine – was “predominantly a party.” He promised that this year’s event would be a completely different show.

“This year’s show is going to be not just a party, but an experience,” he said.

Dornfeld’s plans to raise the attendance from 600 to 800 students were coupled with promises to bring different cultures together by having different RSOs represented at the event.

“The Jewish Student Union will have a table next to the Black Student Union, next to the Hula Hoop club,” Dornfeld said.
Dornfeld assured the SGA that even small organizations, such as the Hula Hoop Club, would have a table at the event.

Chris Kornichuk can be reached at [email protected]