Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

SGA elects new Speaker and approves 2014 Student Activities budget

Cade Belisle/Collegian

The Student Government Association elected a new senate speaker and associate speaker in a meeting on Wednesday and also made changes to next year’s Student Activities budget.

Sionan Barrett, current SGA associate speaker and a freshman journalism student, was elected as the new senate speaker. Senator Madison Goldstein, a freshman sociology major, was elected associate speaker.

The senate unanimously supported the ways and means committee’s recommendation for the Student Activities Trust Fund allocations. The recommendation includes an increase in the annual Student Activities Fee from $97 to $125 per student. In early December, the SGA sought to gauge students’ perspectives on the issue of fee increases and UMass students voted in a special referendum asking whether or not students approved of the proposed fee increase. A small minority of the campus population – 1,172 students – cast their votes, and the measure passed with a 70.7 percent majority – 829 students – in favor of the increase.

According to SGA officials, the fee increase would allow for sufficient funding to be allocated to the majority of Registered Student Organizations (RSOs). It would also provide funding for the hiring of a financial advisor to the SGA. The financial advisor would aid in the SGA’s budget processes, and according to SGA officials, the advisor could also help the body avoid inconsistencies that have arisen in the past from the turnover rate of its members on the ways and means committee..

The ways and means committee also recommended using the revenue from the increased fee rate to allocate $40,000 for renovations to the campus’ Student Union, $9,000 for the improvement of the Bike Share Program and $39,000 for the Sober Shuttle initiative.

Each of these allocations, including the addition of an SGA financial advisor, are contingent upon receiving the Board of Trustees approval of the $28 fee increase in June.

In response to a recent spike in theft and crime at the University’s Fine Arts Center, the senate also unanimously passed a motion to increase the building’s security measures. The motion recommends the installation of security cameras or key card access points within the building, which is used for academic classes as well as public events.

Another motion was also unanimously passed by the Senate to allocate $1,000 for police detail and garbage removal at the annual Colleges Against Cancer 5 College Relay For Life, which will be held at 6 p.m. on April 19 at UMass’ track and field complex. This year mark’s the University’s first year to host the event and attendance numbers are expected to reach about 2,000.

In another motion, the Senate unanimously approved the allocations of rooms for RSOs use next year.

Current SGA Vice President Garrett Gowen and Secretary of the Registry Nick Barton each made closing remarks as their stints in the SGA came to a close. They, along with SGA Advisor Lydia Washington, praised the group’s growth and improvement within the last four years.

Eric Bosco can be reached at [email protected].


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *