Senate Praised For Job

Gin Dumcius

The Student Senate was praised for its attendance and behavior in its latest summit, one that many say was a striking turnaround in comparison to the last several meetings. Assistant Dean of Students Angeline Lopes, lauded the senators for a job “well done and well attended” before the Senate adjourned. “You dealt with the issues,” she said. “This is what it’s really about.”

Director of Student Life Joyce Morgan later echoed Asst. Dean Lopes’s sentiments, saying the Senate had “improved.”

“It was a great meeting,” commented Senator and Student Trustee Heather Dawood. “Senators were very active… They had to make some decisions that could influence or jeopardize an event taking place, and they took everything into consideration.”

Vice-President Tuan Pham chaired the meeting, since President Joseph Panciotti, as well as Senators Richard Bell, Maria Moreno, Bigyan Acharya, Jesse Solomon, and Geraldine White were excused to go to the James Williams Memorial Celebration, held at College of Public and Community Service Plaza.

Funding requests dominated the October 23 meeting, which was held in the Faculty Lounge on eleventh floor of the Healey Library. The meeting was moved there because of a scheduling conflict with Casa Latina.

Budget and Finance Committee put forth a motion to appropriate $7,000 to the Computer Science Department of Students (Robotics Team) for their February 2003 competition in Knoxville, Tennessee. Senator Andrew Barnes moved to accept the proposal and Senator Lexi Nolan seconded it. The motion was approved with 7 voting for, 1 opposed, and 1 abstaining.

Asian Center requests for funding came next, with $1,300 for Stress Relief Week; $625 for Roller World roller-skating field trip; $5,100 for comedian Elliot Chang and workshops for different Asian issues; $550 for Cosmic Bowling field trip; and $2,685 for

Thanksgiving Dinner; all put through the Students Events & Organizations Committee. All of the requests were unanimously approved by the Senate. Senator Barnes commended the organization for putting together these events, especially the Thanksgiving Dinner, intended for international students who can’t go home during the holidays.

The Muslim Student Association presented a funding request for the first time, asking for $3,000 for Islam Awareness Week, including an open forum that would provide an opportunity for Muslim students to speak out about how they are being affected by September 11th. The money was specifically for getting three people to go down via ground transportation, advertising, and Arabic food provided by Muslim restaurants. Senator Robert Comerford moved to approve the proposal, but because the MSA did not go through the proper channels of the SEOC, Senator Paul Delaria moved to offer a friendly amendment to give $1000 and have the rest be pending approval of the SEOC. Senator Comerford rejected the friendly amendment twice before finally accepting it. The motion passed 9 for, 1 against, 1 abstention.

Funding Requests which were rejected: MassPIRG Club did not receive $750 for a Hunger and Homelessness Week trip, since there wasn’t enough time to prepare the paperwork. The Philosophy Club was unable to receive $925 for a new computer. Senator Dawood expressed some concern, stating that the Senate was “obligated to consider what we’re setting a precedent for.”

Before the Senate adjourned, Director Morgan brought up the issue of media attendance and photographs: “The media is allowed to cover public meetings, and that includes picturetaking,” she said. “The only times it becomes an issue is if the picture taking becomes really disruptive, and at that point you call the Chair’s attention.”