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Undergraduate Student Senate Updates Bylaws and Accepts New Leadership

Special elections and new Senators are not the only brand new things at the Undergraduate Student Senate. The Senate is back in full swing for the 2008 Spring Semester with new bylaws, all-new leadership and a new Administrative Committee.

Bylaws are the “rules” which each committee on the Undergraduate Student Senate, as well as the Senate as a whole, must follow and operate under when trying to legislate. “We are here to represent the student body at UMass Boston, and we can’t do that if we don’t have up-to-date bylaws,” explained President Matias, who has been working with Senate leadership to approve the new measures.

The Undergraduate Student Senate is divided into four major committees (the Executive Committee, the Students Events & Organizations Committee, the Budget & Finance Committee and the Campus & Community Affairs Committee), and each had about two months to look at bylaws that affect them and change the ones that needed updating under the direction and approval of the Executive Committee. Addressed in the updated bylaws is a more expansive definition of the newly created Executive Committee, Senate attendance issues and overall “building on old bylaws” to make new ones reflect the Senate Constitution passed in 2005.

The largest change to the 2008 spring Senate is the entirely new (with the exception of President Matias) Executive Board. The new Executive Board includes Senate veterans Denis Bogere as SEOC Shairman, Ian Maxwell as B&F Chairman, Terral Ainooson as CCA Chairman and Kristen Chan as Vice President. President Matias believes that the new leadership will steer the Executive Committee, Student Senate and, ultimately the entire administration and university, in the right direction and describes these new leaders as “absolutely incredible.” New SEOC Chairman Denis Bogere, architect of many of the new bylaws affecting club oversight, among other things, has been described by Ms. Matias as “achieving more than what’s expected.”

While many people view this kind of major change in leadership in the middle of a school year as troubling, President Matias wishes to make it very clear that this change is refreshing and a move in the right direction for the Senate.

New activities for the Senate include a leader-quest week in which management consultants are invited to speak to Senators about their leadership potential, and a retreat for the newly-elected Senators.

With general elections around the corner, and the accompanying student review of the Undergraduate Senate’s activities, President Matias and Vice President Chan are working hard to make a dent in the three major proposed goals it has set out to accomplish this school year.