Student Senate Gets New Life

UMB Rallies Behind Relief Effort

UMB Rallies Behind Relief Effort

J.P. Goodwin

The UMass Boston Student Senate is now playing with a full deck. At their October 3 meeting, the Senate installed 22 new senators, bringing Senate membership to full capacity.

Despite electing 18 members to the 2001-2002 UMass Boston Student Senate last April, attendance at recent Senate meetings had dwindled to a handful of diehards. Important committee’s lacked sufficient membership. “It was difficult to get a quorum,” noted Director of Student Life Joyce Morgan, who serves as the Senate’s advisor.

Senate by-laws allow for the election of new senators by the sitting Senate. Nominations were opened from September 6 through September 25.

After an intensive recruitment effort, orchestrated by Senate President Heather Dawood, the Senate was able to install 22 new members at the October 3 meeting. Both the College of Nursing and the College of Management, who had been under-represented for a number of years, were able to fill all of their open seats. For 15 of the new Senators, it will be their first experience in student government at the collegiate level.

“I’m thrilled to have a full senate and a full team. Many students expressed interest in becoming more involved in student events and they’ve taken advantage of an opportunity and joined the Senate,” declared Dawood. “With more members we should be able to open the door to more programs and events,” she added.

Morgan echoed Dawood’s sentiments. “It was wonderful to see so much enthusiasm in the room. The Senate can go about getting it’s business done now that they have a full membership.”

The recent low level of participation can be attributed, in part, to the unsuccessful attempt by a coalition of student groups to gain control of the Senate and disband it in favor of a “Town Hall” style of student government.

While the coalition, led by the Radical Student Alliance (RSA), managed to get seven of their members elected to the Senate – they fell significantly short of the number needed to implement their plan. None of the coalition-backed senators chose to join the Senate and all were eventually terminated for violating the Senate’s attendance clause.

In addition to electing new members, the Senate voted to allocate $425 to the Pre-Med Club in order for 15 members of the group to attend a symposium entitled “Genomic Information” at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts from October 14 through 16. Richard Bell was appointed to represent the Senate on the “No-Parking Fee Increase” Committee.

The next Senate meeting will be b on October 17 at 4:00pm.