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 holds their last meeting of the fall semester

The final meeting included numerous motions, a funding request and a holiday party
Kalina Kornacki

The University of Massachusetts Student Government Association held their 1903rd regular meeting in the Cape Cod Lounge on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The Senate passed many motions, approved a funding request, held two presentations and were getting ready to hold their holiday party after the meeting.

The meeting began with the thanking and congratulating of Associate Speaker Carol DeRose as well as the newly appointed Associate Speaker Naomi Bloom.

During Agency Reports, Secretary of Sustainability Jack Minella discussed that he will be attending a pouring rights meeting with Attorney General John Harvey. His goal is to have sustainability efforts on the pouring rights contract when working with a large bottling corporation, like Coca-Cola, which UMass has ties to.

“We are trying to make things more sustainable,” Minella said.

Additionally, Secretary of Health and Wellbeing Amira Elmansoury mentioned to the Senate that they will be holding SGA’s ‘Teach-In’ on Thursday. The ‘Teach-In’ is to discuss the events in Palestine and Israel.

After the reports, the meeting welcomed UMass’ Chief Information and Security Officer Matthew Dalton to give a presentation on online harassment guidance and resources for students. At the beginning of the presentation, Dalton mentioned the support system that the office has for students who are facing harassment.

He said, “the University, we care and are supportive of the students who are experiencing harassment of any form.”

The presentation provided information on doxing, trolling and cyberbullying. Dalton also explained how the university protects data using various techniques like encryption, two-step authentication, working with Zoom to tweak security settings and email filtering settings.

He mentioned different ways to protect private information to the Senate as well as how one should respond to online harassment.

Currently, the Information and Security Office is embarking on initiatives to find different technologies for spam filtering and abusive language. The office is also working with Microsoft and Google to regularly improve their tools.

Following Dalton’s presentation, Chair of Social Justice and Empowerment Marco Ulysse held an anti-racism training. Senator Esther Onyeka and Senator Kenyatta Heavlow, members of the Social Justice and Empowerment committee, assisted in the program.

The training focused on “acknowledgement, understanding and application.” This was to create an environment where everyone in SGA felt comfortable and represented. The group discussed why these trainings are important, as they allow for a safer space for constituents, the organization as a whole, as well as future and current SGA members.

Towards the middle of the meeting, the new Associate Speaker Bloom was sworn in by Chief Justice Aash Nanduri.

The first motion passed was to appoint Hannah Gould to the position of undersecretary to the secretary of sustainability.

Secretary of Sustainability Minella stated that he had been working on the hiring process for an undersecretary throughout the semester and created the application in the middle of October. After many interviews, Gould was chosen to be the undersecretary.

Gould, a sustainable food and farming major, said “We have a lot of exciting projects right now, [like] the carbon zero initiative that is happening right now.”

“I’m looking forward to collaborating with a broader community at UMass,” Gould said.

Additionally, many motions were passed throughout the second portion of the meeting, including allocation of money for winter pay as well as appointing senators to the Winter Coordinating Council.

Attorney General Harvey introduced three bylaw amendments to the senate discussing the continuity of government, cabinet leaders and committee chairs. The first two smaller amendments allowed for a system that if an acting chair resigned, the vice chair would then become the acting chair. These motions passed.

The last motion presented by Harvey was a longer bylaw amendment that allowed for committee chairs to appoint, cast vote and be counted towards quorum. This also applies for subcommittee chairs. The motion was passed.

At the end of the meeting, the Senate voted to add a motion to fund UMass Dhadak at $39,873.63, which was sponsored by Chair Anu Sinha, Chair Pranav Joshi and the Finance Subcommittee. This was an emergency funding request because the Registered Student Organization (RSO) is traveling to two places for a competition in the new year.

Three members of UMass Dhadak presented why the funds would be useful and why their request was important to the Senate. After presenting the breakdown of funds and a few following questions, the SGA allocated money to the RSO for their two national competitions across the country.

When the meeting was adjourned, SGA members began their holiday party.

Sydney Warren can be reached at [email protected].

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    Paige H.Dec 8, 2023 at 10:36 am

    Great article!