SGA meets for the first time following Thanksgiving break

UMPD accountability, multicultural night, budget and more discussed at latest SGA meeting

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Dylan Nguyen / Daily Collegian.

By Abby Joyce, Collegian Staff

The University of Masschusetts SGA held its first meeting following Thanksgiving break on Wednesday, Nov. 30 in the Cape Cod Lounge in the Student Union.

The meeting began with Elizabeth Conniff and Pearson from the New Student Orientation & Transitions Staff introducing new positions available for students. They announced that they are offering positions for a transitions leader, an orientation and transitions leader and NSOT office student staff.

Student Trustee Adam Lechowicz and President Shayan Raza discussed their meeting with Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, Provost Tricia Serio and Speaker of the SGA Clare Sheedy about the recent arrest of a student on Massachusetts Avenue. Their hope is to hold UMass Police Department accountable with body cameras and additional training.

Regarding the incident, Raza reiterated that “students really want to see tangible change.” He is also meeting with the UMPD chief of police later this week to discuss these implications.

Vice President Meher Gandhi discussed her recent efforts for the upcoming Multicultural Night that will be held on Friday, Dec. 2 in the Campus Center auditorium. Gandhi touched on her efforts in performances, menu planning and how she hopes this event can “celebrate the executive boards” of these cultural groups for all of their work throughout the semester.

Additionally, Secretary of Finance Joshua Gauthier announced that he finished the SGA budget. He has “a bunch of initiatives that I’d like to get done by the winter,” and hopes to implement revenue sharing at the Student Union and undergo office improvements.

During Senate Committee Reports, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee Ian Harvey announced that the University Programming Council will not be receiving its spring concert budget for the Spring of 2024 due to the budget being submitted after the deadline.

Harvey discussed the difficulty of this decision and announced that there is a possibility of appealing this decision if requested. The appeal process and availability for hearings becomes available in April.

Secretary of External Affairs Benjamin Weitz discussed his efforts in “potentially extending library hours in future semesters” and is planning on meeting with the dean of libraries to discuss the library and Student Union hours.

A new associate speaker of the senate was elected, as well. Sophomore Carol DeRose won the majority vote against Colin Humphries and Brian Forgue. The political science and natural resource conservation student said in her speech that she plans on “taking minutes, upholding parliamentary procedure and upholding bylaws.”

“I am impassioned about making new members feel welcomed,” DeRose added.

Additionally, Secretary of University Tess Weisman proposed a motion that was passed to change bylaws for certain members of the cabinet. The motion would have each cabinet member paired with an agency, as there are 12 agencies and 12 cabinet members. This motion will be added to the bylaws and go into effect at the end of the semester.

 

Abby Joyce can be reached at [email protected].