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

Updates from last week’s SGA meeting

SGA clarifies language in RSO application form and talks with OEI office and MassPIRG.
Dylan Nguyễn

On Wednesday April 10, the University of Massachusetts Student Government Association (SGA) met in the Cape Cod Lounge to hold their 1912th weekly senate meeting. The SGA passed many motions throughout the second half of their meeting.

To kick off the meeting, climate ambassadors Louis Waibel and Elise Fornano from the UMass Amherst Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) spoke to the association about how the OEI guides the UMass campus on issues of equity and diversity. They provided information to the SGA on the five steps for a climate incident report.

Additionally, a representative from MassPIRG updated the SGA about progress made with their Hunger Free Campus Campaign. MassPIRG recently held a lobby day in Boston where nine UMass Amherst students met with eight representatives to encourage support for this campaign.

President Elect and Chair of Undergraduate Services Committee Colin Humphries reminded senators that Cabinet applications are closing on Friday, April 12 at 11:59pm.

Additionally Humphries announced that the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy food closet will have their grand opening Thursday April 11. He also stated that there will be discussions happening soon, seeing if the organization can become a member of the Western Mass. Food Bank.

Sam Tran, the chair of the Undergraduate Registry Oversight Committee, updated senators that the “most well known function of the SGA is the new RSO application process.” Currently the committee received seventy-one new registered student organization (RSO) applications.

The second half of the meeting was focused on motions that had not been passed yet.

Motion 2024-S549, which was sponsored by the Undergraduate Registry Oversight Committee and the Administrative Affairs Office, with purpose to  “to clarify certain language in the list of things that go into a RSO application,” stated Michel Flanagan, chair of the Administrative Affairs Committee.

Small tweaks were made to the language of the motion to help stop misinterpretation of the application. This is to provide general clarification to prospective RSOs. Language regarding establishing voting membership and locations were clarifed. The motion passed.

Motion 2024-S51 focused on a potential endorsement from SGA. Sponsored by Senator Maia Shteyman, a member of the Ways and Means Committee and financial subcommittee, the motion was “Spread Cream Cheese Not Hate Pledge” from UMass Hillel, which aims to bring the campus together against all forms of hate.

A few students brought this pledge to the attention of Senator Shteyman. This motion didn’t go through the typical committees, instead it was brought straight to the Senate. In addition to sending out this pledge and the corresponding flier to the SGA, the students are currently advertising to other ESOs on campus.

According to Shteyman, this is a time sensitive motion as these students are planning tabling events for April 17 where they will be displaying this pledge while simultaneously handing out free bagels and cream cheese.

Many senators and cabinet members asked questions during this motion process. Some members had thoughts regarding the endorsement, saying that the SGA already put out a statement condemning hate for this year.

After questions, the motion went up for a brief debate which allowed for each side to speak for three minutes. Many members of the senate disagreed with the endorsement due to lack of student consultation and having made statements of this regard in the past, ultimately the motion failed.

Motion 2024-S52, was to allocate funds to UMass Gospel, a non audition group on campus. The motion passed.

Motion 2024-S53 sponsored by Chair Flanagan, Vice Chair Amoratis and the Administrative Affairs Committee, was voted to be tabled so the Administrative Affairs Committee could review it. The motion would allow the Associate Speaker to delegate some of their responsibilities as chief clerk and parliamentarian to other members of the senate if need be.

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Sydney Warren can be reached at [email protected].

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