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

SGA closes out the year, completes their transition process

Bylaws, nominations and swear-ins are all official
Kalina Kornacki/Daily Collegian (2023)

The University of Massachusetts Student Senate was called to order on Wednesday, May 17 for the last time this year. The 1895th meeting contained a bylaw change, nominations and a mass swearing-in to complete the transition process.

The senate voted on a reworking of Title VI, the bylaw section that governs the budgetary process. This version of Title VI brings the bylaws out of contradiction with current processes and codifies several practices of the SGA.

The legislation expands the number of elected and appointed officers required to receive pay, sets payroll procedures, changes almost all the guidelines governing RSOs to include student agencies and bans the use of funds granted by the budgetary process in other fiscal years. It also sets the Dia Fund, SGA’s Equity Fund that was renamed last week, into budgetary law and eliminates the Budget Recommendation Council, which traditionally offered help to individualized RSOs in the budget process. The BRC was formally replaced by training done in the fall semester for each RSO council, as is current practice.

The amendment was brought onto the floor by Ian Harvey, the outgoing RSO chair, who stressed that approving the amendment would only be codifying current practices. Finance Chair and incoming Vice President Josh Gauthier assured the senate that “nothing in the bill is crazy.”

A motion to amend the proposal, submitted by Kenyatta Heavlow, changing the minimum amount allocated in the Dia Fund from $50,000 to $100,000, was sent to a roll call vote after a voice vote failed. The SGA chose not to go into debate due to members wanting to get to their 7 p.m. banquet on time. The amendment passed with 15 votes in the affirmative.

The full motion passed unanimously. These changes will take effect on July 1, the first day of SGA’s next fiscal year.

To set the groundwork for next year, the senate also voted on new chairs of each legislative committee.

Pravnav Joshi, a freshman mathematics and economics major, was appointed as the Chair of the Ways and Means committee; Mackenzie McNeil, a junior psychology and education major, was reappointed as chair of the Outreach and Development committee; Michel Flanagan, a freshman political science major who currently serves as vice-chair, was appointed as chair of the Administrative Affairs committee; Colin Humphries, a sophomore political science major who currently serves as vice-chair, was appointed as chair of the Undergraduate Services committee; Marco Ulysse, a junior theater major, was appointed as chair of the Social Justice and Empowerment committee; Emanuelle Sussman, a junior political science, legal studies and Middle Eastern studies triple major, was appointed as chair of the Academic Oversight committee; and Sam Tran, a sophomore political science major, was appointed as chair of the Undergraduate Registry Oversight committee.

Each appointee endured an extensive interview process by the SGA and were all briefly questioned by the Senate. Many appointees stressed their role in promoting the Dia fund in DEI efforts, along with building closer ties with Registered Student Organizations. McNeil stressed the need for outreach on the part of SGA, as “the simple role of people knowing what SGA does is pivotal.”

Tran promised to prioritize the prevention of hazing and sexual assault among campus groups in his role. For violators of this zero-tolerance philosophy, he wants to “try to revoke their charter.” removing the ability of those groups “to receive funding or operate on campus.” He also proposed posting notices about RSOs with histories of those practices as a lesser step.

Joy Kunda, a sophomore communication and journalism major, Ruth Tony-Alabi, a junior political science major, Moshe Gesin, a junior management major and Steven Goubran, a junior management major, all were appointed as election commissioners. Kamya Campbell, who couldn’t attend the meeting, was also appointed.

Each nomination was swiftly passed with no objections.

The meeting closed with every appointed and elected official being sworn into their roles for next year, to boisterous cheers. The procession of vows was led by Tess Wiesman, who assumed the role of President, and Josh Gauthier, who assumed the role of Vice President.

Daniel Frank can be reached at [email protected]

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