Student Government Association announces creation of new committee

SGA creates new committee to improve management of student groups on campus

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Student Government Association announces creation of new committee

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

By Irina Costache, Collegian Staff

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On Monday, the University of Massachusetts Student Government Association announced the creation of a new committee to oversee the operations of registered student groups on campus.

The new committee, the Undergraduate Registry Oversight Committee, chaired by Senator Moksha Padmaraju, will function to help alleviate some of the workload of sitting SGA Secretary Jake Binnall. The UROC was created to coordinate and better support RSOs, who Padmaraju said haven’t previously received this kind of direct SGA attention.

“The only committees that [RSOs] can go to right now are Finance and Ways and Means and that’s only if they have financial issues or budgets,” Padmaraju said. “We’ll be there for them for other functions, like to answer questions on how to function as an RSO.”

Though the committee is currently looking for other members to join, work has already begun. According to Padmaraju, the UROC is working on finalizing the RSO application processes as well as trying to set a cap on the number of RSOs. This proposed cap, estimated at 255, is due to funding and land constraints on campus.

Associate Speaker Rachel Ellis said the committee will also work on an RSO auditing process.

“A lot of RSOs on campus right now are inactive, but we don’t know that. So that’s something that they’re going to be working on as well,” Ellis said.

Padmaraju also said the committee hopes to collaborate with various agencies on campus, such as Student Bridges or the cultural centers, “any of the places where people usually go because they all see RSOs a lot and they know a great deal about RSOs.”

Padmaraju said her motivation to become the chair of UROC stemmed from her belief that RSOs are what define and shape the student experience at UMass. Speaking about her own experience on the mock trial team, she commented, “I can’t imagine myself at UMass without being in it.”

Also presented at Monday night’s meeting was a new initiative to make travelling within the Five College Consortium safer. President Timmy Sullivan announced that he met with other SGA members from the Five Colleges to discuss steps to creating change.

“Most notably the female students from Mount Holyoke and Smith do not feel comfortable traveling to UMass Amherst and Amherst College, with a larger emphasis on UMass,” Sullivan said.

One of the points discussed during the collaborative meetings was getting students access to the phone numbers for the 24-hour hotlines that operate on all five college campuses, according to Sullivan. He also added that there is a need for a better transportation system between schools so students are not left stranded.

During the meeting, Senator Kyle Kendall, the vice chancellor’s student advisory board representative, notified the group of the University’s decision to cut ties with Coach Whipple. Though Senators posed a number of questions, no further comments could be made regarding this decision.

Irina Costache can be reached at [email protected].