Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

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 hold weekly senate meeting, discusses stance on recent campus protests

SGA President Tess Weisman says the SGA supports peaceful protest on campus
Dylan Nguyen
Daily Collegian (2023)

The University of Massachusetts Student Government Association held its 1899th regular meeting in the Student Union Black Box Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

SGA Speaker Jackie Fallon began the meeting by emphasizing the importance of “education and reflection” throughout the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, additionally stressing there is “no tolerance [for] hostility” on campus.

President Tess Weisman echoed a similar sentiment: “The best way to do our job as the SGA is to educate ourselves.” Weisman later elaborated upon SGA’s intention to do teach-ins that will be “open to all students in order to inform and educate our student body.” Weisman expressed her admiration of the “strength from our student leaders as they peacefully protest,” as she “value[s] the right for students to peacefully protest.” She then clarified that both herself and the SGA do not condone any form of hate speech.

Last week, on Wednesday Oct. 25, students protesting for justice in Palestine gathered in the Whitmore Administration Building outside of Chancellor Reyes’ office. 57 protestors were arrested for trespassing.

Weisman stated “the [Student Conduct Office] will process this case the same as other student conduct cases,” and “there will be no special process for these students.”

Additionally, SGA leadership said they will be making a statement regarding this conflict soon.

Anisha Sharda, the SGA secretary of technology, has finished the SGA website. The website offers updated information regarding bylaws, member contact information, timelines and SGA records.

Sam Tran, undergraduate registry oversight committee chair, detailed his work with Sharda to make a 2023-2024 registered student organization discrimination report form. He is also working with administration to make some RSOs a co-curricular activity instead of extracurricular. Tran believes additional guidance and funding would largely benefit the learning and development within STEM RSOs.

Serene Omran, a junior biology major and the vice chair of the UMass chapter of MASSPIRG, advocated for the 100% Renewable Energy campaign, otherwise referred to as the 100% Clean Act. Omran detailed their approximate amount of 500 petition signatures, and implored members to write testimonies for the act. MASSPIRG has been largely involved in UMass’ initiative to become entirely powered by clean energy by 2032.

SGA moved to pass both motions proposed.

The senate also passed a motion presented by Michel Flanagan, chair of the administrative affairs committee and Attorney General Ian Harvey which allows the senate  “to vote on multiple separate orders all at once,” also known as block voting.

Lastly, Cole Jilek, a junior biochemistry, molecular biology major and UMass Emergency Medical Services member, presented amendments to the UMEMS charter to ensure it utilizes gender neutral language, a requirement by the SGA. This motion passed unanimously.

Rylee Davis can be reached at [email protected].

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