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

‘Let them cook,’ Vice President Gauthier says

SGA holds their first senate meeting of the 2024 spring semester
Kalina Kornacki

The Student Government Association (SGA) resumed their weekly Senate meetings on Wednesday, Feb. 7 in the Student Union’s Cape Cod Lounge as the first meeting of the 2024 spring semester. The 1094th regular meeting began with an announcement from Vice President Josh Gauthier about his new initiative rewarding senators for their work.

Gauthier presented the “Let Them Cook,” award where SGA members can nominate each other on a weekly basis to celebrate their efforts within individual and group initiatives.

Speaker Jackie Fallon followed by explaining the process in which senators will rerun for their positions. Fallon addressed the Senate and explained the importance of their work and individual projects. “Don’t underestimate the small changes you can make for students,” Fallon said.

Attorney General Ian Harvey announced that he is considering hiring another undersecretary, who will assist him with bylaw amendments. Additionally, he explained his recent efforts in providing more gender-neutral bathrooms, as well as more trash cans on campus. Harvey said that the lack of trash receptacles was the “number one concern from students.”

Secretary of Diversity Tanyi Muanya discussed potential plans for Black History Month and his recent event planning with Social Justice & Empowerment (SOJEC) and the Black Student Union.

Secretary of External Affairs Lily Bruce updated the Senate on her recent efforts in making a volunteer database for undersecretaries to learn more about different volunteer opportunities. Additionally, she has met with Garett Distefano, Director of Dining Services about the Local Food Festival.

Amira Elmansoury, Secretary of Health and Wellbeing reported that she has been using results from the campus-wide Health and Wellbeing Survey to guide her projects. She said she is beginning to look into the benefits of a female-only workout space on campus and is looking for “testimonials for why that would be beneficial.”

During the Committee of the Whole, SGA representatives working with Public Higher Education Network in Massachusetts (PHENOM) discussed their recent work regarding accessibility of public education in Massachusetts. Academic Oversight Committee Chair, Emmanuelle Sussman said that the overall average debt for private school students after graduation is $2,000 more than the average student’s debt after graduation at a Massachusetts state university.

Motions 2024-SO25 to appoint Meshwa Patel to the Ways & Means Committee, 2024-SO26 to appoint Adianna Barrett to the Academic Oversight Committee and 2024-SO27 to appoint Ellie O’Donnell to the Outreach and Development Committee were all passed during Special Orders.

2024-S30 was passed during Main Motions to add Dylan Bellerive, Sam Chae, Ryan Darbhanga, Meshwa Patel, Maia Shteyman and Dominic Trabucco, senators of the Ways and Means Committee, to SGA payroll.

Harvey and Fallon reiterated that these funds adding these senators to payroll were within the original budget and were not appropriated. The meeting was then adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

Abby Joyce can be reached at [email protected].

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