Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy delivers an address to the SGA

SGA elects new speaker and associate speaker
Kayla Wong/ Daily Collegian (2023)

The Student Government Association kicked off their 1,892 regular meeting on April 27 with a visit from Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy.

As his time as chancellor for the last 11 years comes to an end, Subbaswamy offered the senate with some parting advice for members of the SGA.

Subbaswamy commended the senate for taking on electoral offices, noting “It isn’t easy and it takes thick skin.” He spoke about the leadership skills of SGA members, saying “the whole object of civil discourse is to have an open mind.” He finished by urging the members to “have a dialogue on what changes can be done.”

Subbaswamy then opened up the conversation to questions from the senate. “I enjoy coming to work every day,” he quipped, expressing amusement towards students taking selfies with him.

Elections for speaker and associate speaker then followed. Current Associate Speaker Jackie Fallon ran unopposed for speaker and was elected. Senator Marco Ulysse ran against Carol DeRose for the associate speaker position. DeRose is currently in the role of associate speaker while Fallon studies abroad this semester. The senate voted and elected Derose as associate speaker for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Each candidate was given five minutes to speak and five minutes for questions. Fallon spoke first and emphasized her efforts to boost cooperation and attendance from senate members.

She added the necessity of being “exposed to projects that are exciting to us [and] benefit our exposure and student experience.”

Fallon wants to foster an “inclusive and representative body.” She emphasized how important it is to connect with new members of administration and how important it is to establish relations with them early. “I am equipped with the skills to navigate and focus on a dedicated senate,” Fallon said, concluding her speech.

Ulysse spoke next and emphasized his desire for a “transformation of the student experience.” Ulysse noted he wants to break down exclusivity within the senate and said, “I vow to create a more supportive and equitable environment.” He wants to create a “fair and ethical space” free of “bias and lack of transparency.” Ulysse proposed a shadowing program to immerse new senate members into the processes of the SGA.

“We must take active steps and incorporate them into our actions and practices,” he said. Ulysse also commented on his communication skills and said, “I’m here to advocate for every member of SGA, including the student body at large.”

Carol DeRose spoke last and commended the senate for their work, noting, “…the hard work and dedication that each one of you brings to our senate.” She explained how nerve-wracking it can be to take a position in the senate and added, “transitioning to the associate speaker from senate made me feel nervous and overwhelmed.”

“Don’t be fooled, I still have some questions,” DeRose joked. She emphasized her goal of being understanding of students with busy schedules and wanting to be more supportive of them and make senate meetings more efficient. DeRose aims to “advocate for student body and senate” and “continue to clearly promote the wants and needs of our student body.” DeRose also hopes to do a deep clean of the SGA’s Google Drive for a more organized and efficient system.

Fallon and DeRose won the vote. Current Speaker Clare Sheedy commented that it was, “bittersweet to have the speaker election tonight.” Sheedy added that she is, “grateful to have gotten to know every one of you.”

Secretary of the Registry Zach Bhattacharjee then spoke and announced that he is graduating early and will attend graduate school in the fall, therefore stepping down from his position.

Josh Gauthier, incoming SGA vice president, noted that he has received over 80 applications for cabinet positions and held over 40 interviews.

Abby Joyce can be reached at [email protected].

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