Massachusetts Daily Collegian

SGA to host Second Annual Women’s Leadership Conference Sunday

By Stuart Foster

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Collegian File Photo

(Collegian File Photo)

The Second Annual Women’s Leadership Conference, hosted by the University of Massachusetts’ Student Government Association, will be held in the Student Union Sunday.

This event, which was organized by the Women’s Caucus of the SGA, will feature a talk from the keynote speaker Angela Lussier, an UMass alumna who is an entrepreneur and business consultant, entitled “Becoming Who You Are.”

While the previous event held in the spring was a symposium that focused solely on the different styles and stereotypes of women’s leadership, the event on Nov. 15 will be a full conference, covering different topics.

In addition to Lussier’s keynote speech, the conference will include workshops led by facilitators on topics such as salary negotiation, the gender wage gap, the role someone’s energy plays in their work and developing personal leadership styles.

The conference is free and will include breakfast and lunch for attendees. It will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The funding for Lussier’s keynote speech became controversial within the SGA after the expected source of funding, the Residence Hall Association, was unable to provide the $5,000 required.

The Women’s Caucus then made a funding request to the SGA’s Finance Committee who unanimously denied it due to a perceived lack of funding from within the SGA. The Finance Committee may grant additional funding to the SGA for “unforeseen costs,” but they determined a speaker fee did not fall under that category.

SGA President Sïonan Barrett countered that the speaker fee was an unforeseen cost because the Women’s Caucus was notified that the RHA could not allocate funds due to a limited amount of funds left in their budget.

Chairman Michael Turner also cited a lack of revenue raising for the event and an unclear interest from the student body in the event, which contributed to the ruling to not provide the funds.

The Women’s Caucus then appealed the denial to the undergraduate senate, who approved to override the Finance Committee’s decision and provide funding for the speaker fees.

The Women’s Leadership Symposium last spring was attended by approximately 12 alumni and 50 students.

Stuart Foster can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @Stuart_C_Foster.

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