SGA addresses price of the new Student Union renovations

President Timmy Sullivan says Student Union fee total will remain at $25 million


(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

By Leticia Medeiros, Collegian Correspondent

With less than 50 percent of senators present, the Tuesday night University of Massachusetts Student Government Association meeting focused on cabinet members’ attendance, as well as the current Student Union renovations.

President Timmy Sullivan reported on the new Student Union renovations. Sullivan said he spoke with the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Andrew Mangels in order to verify how much students will be paying for the renovations.

Sullivan said “there is no increase in the amount that students are expected to pay for the project. Students voted to pay $25 million toward the project and students will only be paying $25 million toward the project.”

Running against Sullivan, presidential candidate Allie McCandless criticized Sullivan in Monday’s debate claiming he had not delivered on his promise that students wouldn’t have to pay increased costs.

Sullivan also clarified the University does not plan on spending $62 million on the renovations – that is just the maximum amount of money approved in case there are unexpected additional costs. The extra $12 million would come from the University budget for new building constructions in case it are needed.

Later in the meeting, Althea Turley, chair of the administrative affairs committee of the SGA, took questions from Senators about two motions that the committee had sponsored on the agenda regarding cabinet members’ attendance.

The motions would put responsibility on the associate speaker to keep track of cabinet members’ attendance. In addition, the bylaws would be adjusted so that if members did not report at meetings three times during their term, they would resign by non-action.

Senators were concerned about the fact that there was no room to excuse an absence by extenuating circumstances. Turley addressed the concerns by stating because members can report in person or in writing through another member, they did not think it was necessary to consider extenuating circumstances.

Also in the agenda was a motion that, if passed, would ask the University to “put a more direct focus on supporting students with disabilities and the issue of ableism within their ‘Dignity and Respect’ campaign.” There was also a motion to facilitate student membership among faculty councils.

Due to the low attendance in the meeting, none of the motions in the agenda were able to be voted on. It was not clear when they would be discussed again.

At the end of the meeting, Assistant Speaker Rachel Ellis thanked everyone for coming and reminded members to put their mental health first during this election season.

Leticia Medeiros can be reached at [email protected]