World Series celebrations, RSOs, expired elevators, discussed at SGA meeting

By Katrina Borofski

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Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

World Series celebrations on campus as well as updates on student government’s involvement with registered student organizations on campus were among topics discussed at Monday’s Student Government Association meeting, following through on topics discussed at previous meetings.

Progress has been made regarding ensuring the safety during celebrations on campus during and following the World Series baseball games. Student government representatives and the University of Massachusetts Police Department have collaborated to come up with a “tentative plan made to prevent students from gathering in an unsafe way,” according to one student senator.

These organized celebrations are anticipated to take place later in the series, starting with Game 4 on Oct. 27 and any possible further games in the series.

“We want to bring in an outdoor screen into the Southwest courtyard to keep students within an area to watch the game,” said one student senator who attended the World Series meeting. “UMass Dining will be providing food. We’re hoping to have a barbeque-like atmosphere.”

Vice President of Student Government Emily Hajjar noted that the commencement of the WTF Campaign (What to Fix UMass?) had launched last Thursday. The campaign’s initiative is to gain student perspectives on any issues within the University.

“Once again, it’s a great way to get input from students,” said Hajjar.

At Monday’s meeting, a member of the Student Cabinet also shared a presentation regarding Sobrio, a current program at UMass where students can call and receive a ride home from bars and other off campus places on the weekends.

Presently, Sobrio has sixteen student drivers who work in the program, safely bringing students back to their dorms on weekend nights.

Members of Sobrio are currently working to make this program into a formal RSO. Recently, they have started tabling in the campus center. Overall, those working to promote Sobrio are enthused to build up a program that offers a useful and safe option to students on campus.

“I’ve had so many great conversations with students I’ve picked up that it’s become a truly fun way to spend a weekend night,” said Samya Stumo, a current Sobrio driver and junior here at the University.

Also discussed at this week’s meeting was the distribution of budget under the Finance Committee. The UMass Ballroom Dancing Club and the UMass Theater Guild represent two of three RSOs that have recently requested money from the Finance Committee.

“The Finance Committee has an additional $30,000 to allocate for emergency situations like this,” said President Zac Broughton, who supported giving some of the Committee’s budget to these two RSOs.

Both RSOs were promised money in the past year and did not receive it, and it has prompted them to put repeated requests in this year. The Ballroom Dancing Club is looking for funding to help pay the coaches who teach their large club of over 120 dancers. The Theater Guild is hoping for support from the Finance Committee in helping to cover royalties for shows, as well as to costumes, sets and renting spaces. The SGA voted to allocate the budget for both RSOs at Monday’s meeting.

One other significant topic brought up at this week’s meeting was the current status of elevators throughout campus.

“Lots of elevators are not up to date or have expired inspection placards,” said one student senator. “They are required to file for re-inspection.”

Acquiring a new inspection placard on elevators is a long process with three different phases, taking up to 90 days for each phase. In the Kennedy Tower in Southwest, one elevator’s inspection sticker expired in July of 2012. This means that by the time this elevator receives its inspection placard, it will be nearly two years out-of-date.

In Southwest alone, there are at least 20 elevators. Across the entire campus, many more, a majority of which have expired inspection placards. This poses a serious safety issue that requires attention.
Due to lack of time, this topic was tabled and senators anticipate discussing the issue further at a later meeting.

Katrina Borofski can be reached at [email protected]