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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Let the Gavel Begin

On September 4th, the UMass Senate held their first meeting of the semester. Chancellor Gora was on hand to discuss the ombudsman position and the upcoming inaugural events.

After a moment of silence for J.P. Goodwin, former managing editor of The Mass Media, the meeting proceeded. New Student Senate President Joseph Panciotti said that this year, “the focus will be on respect.” Student trustee Heather Dawood relayed her experience of professionalism at the recent trustee meeting she attended.

The various chairs of committees discussed the work they will be doing in the near future. Paul Delaria stated that all are welcome to attend faculty union meetings. Maria Moreno reminded all that club activation packets are available in the Student Life office, for all those who wish to submit applications for starting or renewing a club. Todd Babbitt expressed his excitement about the potential of the Campus and Community Affairs committee.

Chancellor Gora was present at this senate meeting. The chancellor brought to the table several issues of note. First, she announced that the Senate was encouraged to develop “In the best sense of the word” an ombudsman position. The holder of this title would be a student whose job would be to look for problems affecting the student body and come up with some viable solutions to them. An ombudsman would also serve as a representative for the student body in negotiating with the university administration. The hope expressed by the chancellor in reference to an ombudsman was that it would improve student services. The chancellor said that if the student senate chose to fund the ombudsman position for the first semester, her office will fund the second semester … “provided we work out the kinks and feel we are making progress.” Some questions were asked in reference to where the position of ombudsman would fall within the greater structure of the university and also how the success of such a position would be measured.

A short discussion about the early retirement incentive took place as well. “We are fortunate that the cuts we took at this university will have a minimal effect on Academics,” the chancellor said. Gora also brought invitations to the activities that will be going on from September 23 through the 27, “Inauguration Week.” Gora said that it is “really a celebration of UMass Boston.” A series of university forums will take place on Thursday, September 26, including a presentation from Chinua Achebe. Also, a special concert featuring Yellow Man and EnTrain on the 24th at 4:30. A barbecue and voter registration will start things off on the 23rd. The full schedule of inaugural activities is published in the September issue of the University Reporter.

Dean Stephanie Janey discussed the new calendar of events compiled by her office on a monthly basis and encouraged all to submit events to be printed. She also encouraged the use of UMass email accounts.

Jesse Solomon, a senator from CPCS discussed an article in the Undergraduate Student Senate’s constitution which says that student senators “shall be compensated.” President Panciotti then said that the Budget & Finance Committee would take up that issue.

The new chaplain of Catholic Ministries, Maggie Cahill, outlined plans that were made to remember the one year anniversary of the September 11th attacks. She called the day’s activities “A Memorial of Hope” and wanted all to be aware that although the events were presented through the Catholic ministries, there was nothing religious about the scheduled activities, only spiritual.

Finally, the “free email for life” signs that have been posted all over the school were discussed. The administration finds email to be the best means to distribute information to all students and faculty simultaneously, and therefore encourages us all to use our free accounts.