SGA speakers discuss their new roles

“We have a real shot to bring a stronger and more positive SGA presence onto this campus and to have a larger student involvement”


Dylan Nguyen/Daily Collegian (2022)

By Abby Joyce , Collegian Correspondent

New Student Government Association Speaker of the Senate, Clare Sheedy, and Associate Speaker of the Senate, Jacqualin Fallon, have been sworn into position for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Among their goals, Sheedy and Fallon expressed wanting to increase transparency between branches, leadership and senators.

Sheedy, a senior public health and women, gender and sexuality studies major, has previous experience in student government as vice president in high school. She became involved in the SGA at University of Massachusetts during her junior year. Last year, she was sworn in as a senator on the Social Justice and Empowerment Committee and became “very involved with activism and advocacy on campus,” she said.

Sheedy began organizing protests and coordinating with UMass administration during the protests at the Theta Chi fraternity in 2021.

“I was really passionate about spending my last year as an undergraduate at UMass doing some important, good work, knowing I have a good head on my shoulders,” said Sheedy, who believes she has a natural leadership ability. “I can advocate and help people in the best way that I can.”

According to their mission statement found on Campus Pulse, the SGA strives to “engage students in a process of community action.” Sheedy’s advocacy work seeks to embody this value.

Fallon, junior legal studies major, joined the senate this past winter and earned her new position with her experience from her time in student government. Getting involved on campus “is a really great way to spend your time at school and can get you more in tune with what’s going on,” Fallon said.

“I felt really inspired by people who were a part of this organization and thought the associate speaker is a really great role to learn and lead the senators and build upon the experiences I had,” Fallon added.

Fallon also noted that she could support the student senators and spoke on how their new role is unique. “We don’t create the policies, we support those who are creating them and connect with them,” she said.

Fallon is largely responsible for attendance and enforcing engagement with senators. “In my opinion, accountability for attendance fosters an investment between all community members,” Fallon said.

Sheedy, who shared similar goals, said she hoped to “build and foster that sense of belonging and community to create a more inclusive space.”

Sheedy talked about the commonality of a large body of people not trusting a system of government. She discussed how she wants to “break down that distrust and rebuild it.”

Additionally, Sheedy wants to pursue “passion while balancing well-being,” and make sure productivity is still being accomplished while the social and overall wellness of senators is maintained. The pair wants to have a sense of community within the SGA and increase cohesion between all branches.

“You are capable,” added Fallon, addressing students who are interested in participating in student government. She also wants to increase communication between the student body and SGA. “I just want this information to feel accessible because if it’s accessible and digestible you will feel more capable of tackling these issues and that you have a space to speak on these issues,” she said.

“We have a real shot to bring a stronger and more positive SGA presence onto this campus and to have a larger student involvement,” Fallon continued.

Sheedy urged students to “take care of yourself and make the most of your time regardless of who you are.” As a senior, she wants to leave a legacy behind in the SGA and “to make sure the next leaders are prepared for their positions and know the ins and outs of being in SGA.”

Abby Joyce can be reached at [email protected].