Two SGA officers resign during weekly meeting

By Catherine Ferris

(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)
(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

Members of the Student Government Association met Monday night to discuss potential upcoming events, give updates on ongoing projects and put forth three motions.

Two officers however, stated their intent to resign during the meeting.

Kabir Thatte, chairman of Administrative Affairs, said he was stepping down due to personal reasons, though he stated that the SGA is “like a family.” He plans for next Monday’s meeting to be his last.

Chris Czepiel, the associate speaker of the Senate, also announced his intent to step down. He cited personal reasons and other obligations for his resignation. He will remain in seat until a replacement is found.

There were three motions on the floor at the meeting, all of which passed.

Rebecca Aguanno was sponsored by Administrative Affairs to fill the vacant Commuter Senate seat. Speaking on the relationship between off-campus students and the University of Massachusetts, she said, “One of the things I see is that there’s a big disconnect. There’s a gap I’d like to close.”

Aguanno also talked about the busing situation during weekends, noting how crowded they can be because they only come once per hour. She said, if possible, she wants to work on a way for students who rely on buses to get home safely.

The motion was passed by a unanimous vote and Aguanno was sworn in.

The second motion involved conduct of SGA members, sponsored by Administrative Affairs.

It stated that whenever and wherever SGA is being represented, there needs to be a level of standards upheld to ensure the reputation of the organization.

“We want people to be professional,” Thatte said. “We have administrators coming in and random students coming it and we want to be professional.”

Specifically, the motion stated the use of profanity and jokes that are considered oppressive and sexual remarks will not be tolerated. It also said that a certain level of professionalism should be maintained.

The motion also passed unanimously.

The third and final motion was the SGA’s official statement on Smith College’s admission process regarding sexual identity.

Diversity and Student Engagement sponsored this plan, saying it is important to stand with those who come from a transgender background.

Justin Kilian, a freshman who works with the Stonewall Center, said, “We are members of this community. This is a decision that affects us too.”

She continued, saying that it is the responsibility of UMass to stand in solidarity with the affected transgender students.

The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

During the meeting, senators also covered other business including Senator Ryan DiZoglio’s plan to have a winter festival to celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa and Chanukah.

This idea is still in the planning stages, but DiZoglio said he hopes to gain more support as the semester winds down.

Catherine Ferris can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Ca_Ferris2.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Justin Kilian’s gender pronouns. The error has been corrected above.