SGA approves four motions, tables one

By Patrick Hoff

Student Government Administration President Zachary Broughton spoke on Monday night. (Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
Student Government Administration President Zachary Broughton spoke on Monday night. (Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

The University of Massachusetts Student Government Senate approved four motions on Monday, including allocating money to the Women in Media Conference, the creation of an Undergraduate Experience Committee and a special order to appoint a new Orchard Hill Area Government governor.

The Senate also tabled an amendment of the bylaws for elections after 30 minutes of discussion, clarifying what resources are allowed to be used and where finances are allowed to come from.

The Administrative Affairs committee moved around several sections and reworded others, according to Administrative Affairs Chairman Stefan Herlitz, but “didn’t really change anything.”

The motion was tabled to Administrative Affairs until the committee has completed their amendments of the election bylaws.

In a special order sponsored by Orchard Hill Senator Michael Turner, Damien Cranshaw was unanimously appointed to the OHAG governorship to help Ellie Miske plan Bowl Weekend and take care of the final weeks in the government. Until Cranshaw’s appointment, OHAG had no members after the resignation of the previous cabinet.

With the appointment to governor, Cranshaw must step down as vice president of House Council.

Another special order appointed Senator Jay Javidan to the Administrative Affairs committee.

The Women in Media Conference, hosted by the UMass media organizations, asked the SGA for funds to help host the event, which will host female media members to speak to the community. The event is aimed to help connect the media organizations and give women on campus a chance to hear role models speak.

The SGA approved $1,260, which was the money that the conference asked for minus $100 they had requested for gifts for speakers.

The Undergraduate Experience Committee was created to act as a liaison between the SGA Senate and UMass administration to make the process of discussion more cohesive, especially as the Shared Governance Document unfolds.

The final motion approved by the Senate officially recognized the Students of Color Caucus as an informal collective to create a safe space for students of color in SGA. The caucus was modeled after the similar Women’s Caucus in the SGA, which puts on different events for women to get together as a support group.

Early in the meeting, the SGA had a presentation from Joint Task Force on Resource Allocation member Elizabeth Chilton. The task force has been examining how UMass currently allocates resources, how other universities allocate funds and how UMass may allocate funds better.

In examining the current resource allocation system, the task force found that UMass currently uses an “incremental budgeting model,” meaning that resources are allocated based on historical precedent and based on previous years of spending. The task force, in the draft of their recommendation, has created a more customized model that is more transparent and less decentralized.

The task force is now asking for feedback from the campus community before the recommendations are given to the chancellor. Chilton was clear that the task force only had the power to make recommendations to Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, not create actual policy, but said that the chancellor would not make a decision if the campus was “not ready or interested.”

During the SGA officer reports, President Zac Broughton announced that the SGA office was finished and newly refurbished and the next step was to add computers with universal access so SGA members could work in the office. Broughton also discussed a number of meetings that he had attended with administrators, including a meeting about the Hatch, and urged senators to reach out to their constituents even as the semester ends.

Broughton also announced to senators that the entire SGA budget has either been spent or committed for the rest of the year so there is no more money for the SGA to allocate to senators or other groups.

Ellie Miske briefly presented about Bowl Weekend, announcing that everything was running on schedule and WMUA was co-sponsoring the event, tentatively called “Bowlchella.”

 Patrick Hoff can be reached at [email protected] and followed @Hoff_Patrick16.