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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Another Step to Student Life

Itís no secret that UMass isnít home to the typical student. We have no residence halls, no pep rallies, no student-exclusive areas to hang out and network. I wonít say there are no plans to remedy this. Our 200 year master plan hopes to buy residence halls; our Student Trustee Tara DeSisto is busting her tail to preserve student space in the campus center. I also will not say progress hasnít been made; Student Government President Terral Ainooson has worked hard to double the size of the student centers and start networking between student activities and athletics.

While the ball is moving, the signs of our ìdisengagedî community are evident. Many of our student groups are fly-by-night initiatives. Information tables are mostly ignored. For a school with nearly 15,000 students, our campus center sure is empty. Everyone is on their way to work, to family, to other obligations. Weíre busy people. However, there is still a need to establish community on campus. As the Budget and Finance chairman of your Undergraduate Student Senate, I see many of the budding programs on campus. The pilot programs, the relief trips, the new student groups. I see the drive and the ideas that our student leaders bring to this campus. I realize the necessity there is in supporting these. I have made it my mission to make sure these have the ultimate impact on campus.

In recent years, it was fairly common for students familiar with student activities to milk the system. Taking multiple trips off campus, running multiple student groups, allocating funding for friends and pet projects. While this generates activity on campus, it isnít nearly reflective of the 15,000 students we have. These ìsuper involvedî get more than their investment out of the system. There needed to be efforts to curb abuse of the systems and make sure the student dollar goes back and hits every student.

This is where the student government must have a hand. So far, I have made strides to change fiscal policy to keep money on campus. We allocated more funding to the Student Arts and Events council so their general programming can have a wider impact. We changed policies concerning the funding of student groups to make student events more efficient and engaging. Weíve stepped up the standards of groups requesting money for trips off campus to make sure the student dollar is spent wisely. Over the summer, student governmentís fiscal policies have had a dramatic shift to keep your dollars within your reach. I am proud to stand behind each and every one of my votes in my efforts to engage the everyday student.

While we try our hardest to do what is right, we need to know what the students care about. We need to know what issues strike home for our students. We urge you; take a stand for your community. We are available in our office, 2405 of the Campus Center, directly below student life. You can also contact your student government at [email protected].

Keith RaboinBudget and Finance ChairUndergraduate Student Senate