SGA vice president resigns, new associate speaker appointed

‘The SGA wears you down’

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Ana Pietrewicz / Daily Collegian

By Lucas Ruud, Collegian Staff

University of Massachusetts Student Government Association Vice President Ben Katzman resigned and Senator Afra Rindani was elected to the open associate speaker position at Wednesday’s SGA meeeting.

Katzman resigned following former President Prabhu Rajkumar’s resignation last week.

“It’s just something that has to be done, I need to focus on myself. The SGA wears you down. Do not let it do that,” Katzman said.

“I know we have a great president and a great speaker who are ready to keep the SGA rolling,” Katzman continued, referring to newly-elected Speaker Julia Curto and President Patrick Collins as “the bedrock of the SGA.”

When asked if he is considering returning to the SGA, Katzman said, “I am not going to comment on my future.” He is, however, preparing transition materials for his replacement and said that he would assist SGA members in the future if needed.

Senator Afra Rindani was elected to the newly-open associate speaker position following Curto’s transition from associate speaker to speaker of the SGA.

Rindani was the sole nominee to the open associate speaker position and received 27 out of 33 possible votes, securing a majority vote and the position.

“My goal is to change the narrative around this body,” Rindani said. “We get too caught up in the conversation to take action.”

The sophomore political science major cited her position as a senator in the SGA and her work as a leader of the South Asian Students Association as experience to help her in her new role.

“We are at our best in the SGA when we work together,” Rindani said.

Victoria Howard, Miryam Greenwood and Aidan Ormsby were appointed to empty office manager positions.

Howard believes that it’s “important for students to have a voice” and aims to utilize her new position to assist the SGA in any way possible.

In their final motion of the night, the SGA voted to purchase AV equipment for the Student Union ballroom to support large events held by RSOs.

“It’s been hard for RSOs to hold big events, if not impossible,” Secretary of the Registry Shayan Raza said. “They would have to shell out thousands of dollars to rent this equipment.”

The AV equipment missing from the ballroom includes speakers, lights and microphones that are necessary to run large events. The price of the equipment is $21,626 and would come from the SGA’s capital expenditures fund.

The SGA may receive support from the Student Affairs and Campus Life Office, but they are willing to fund the entire purchase if they don’t receive support from UMass administration.

“We want to put this money forward to help our RSOs,” Raza said.

Lucas Ruud can be reached at [email protected]