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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Senate Notes: Clubs Prohibited from Leaving New England


UMass Boston Student Trustee Tuan Pham

Have Club, Can’t Travel

Vice President Tuan Pham made an announcement at last week’s Student Events and Organizations Committee (SEOC) meeting that, in light of terrorist threats to the United States, a decision was made by UMB to prohibit travel outside of the New England area until further notice.

In effect, any activity sponsored by UMB may not include travel outside of the New England area, which includes Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire.

The Physics Club’s trip to visit the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico over spring break was cancelled as a result of this decision.

“What happened was, we started planning the trip, and then they passed this new rule before the final decision was suppose to be in,” said Elina Shnayder, member of the Physics Club. “I mean it sucks, and we were ready and willing to sign waivers, but we understand where the university’s coming from – they don’t want to be legally responsible for us.”

Clubs affected by this decision include the Physics Club, the French Club, and possibly the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Club.

“It’s all in regards to the safety of the students, and I think more so now what’s going on inside the continental U.S. and abroad. It’s too risky for our students to be out,” said Interim Dean of Students Angeline Lopes. “It was more of a safety issue. It’s not banning travel, it’s limiting it for a short period of time to New England. People who still want to travel can, it’s just not going to be university-funded.”

Hard Hats and Letter Writing

During the CCA meeting held last Monday, the CCA discussed having Stephen Chait, project manager for the new Campus Center, conduct a presentation of the building under construction. The CCA hopes to have his talk followed up by hard-hat tours of the Campus Center in the future.

The CCA also contemplated having Peter Langer, the associate provost, head of the Strategic Planning Task Force, and chair of the Retention Committee, come speak at the next senate meeting. It was later discussed that it could be put on the agenda for a CCA “event” geared toward reaching a larger audience.

The CCA has now gained support from the Faculty Staff Professional Unions for sponsorship of Trustee Heather Dawood’s letter-writing campaign. The newly named “Public Higher Education Made Personal” will subsequently be looking for corporate sponsorship.

Training Day

Vice President Tuan Pham presided over last week’s SEOC meeting, as SEOC Chair Maria Moreno was excused from attendance. At the meeting were Senators Bryan Smith, Sada Hauberg, Sophia Wong, and Rueben Urmeneta (who was excused midway through the meeting), all of whom are new appointees to their positions.

Since at least one of the senators did not yet have the opportunity to go through orientation, the meeting was held in an informal manner – which was rather fortunate for some of the equally disoriented club representatives requesting funding.

More Funds Than You Can Make a Motion At

The French Club retracted its funding request for travel to Montreal due to the earlier announcement about restricted student travel.

“I think they should have posted it where all students could have seen it, instead of just bursting it out like that, because we could have been more prepared for the meeting,” stated Sherly Torres, president of the French Club, after the meeting. “It’s something that the French Club always does, and I was a little shocked that this time we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

The Asian Center requested $9025 for its annual Asian Cultural Festival which will be held in April. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously, though an amendment was later added to the proposal, making tickets for UMB students free, and five dollars for non-UMB students.

The Ski and Snowboarding Club requested $4,566 for a series of ski trips: one weekend trip and two day trips. The motion was approved 1-0, with 2 abstentions. Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

The Women’s Center requested $2,000 for Every Woman’s Self Defense, a three-hour workshop open to all students, which will be held April 8-9 in the Clark Athletic Center from 6-9pm. After some questions involving the eligibility of men to participate, the motion passed unanimously.

The Women’s Center also requested $1,200 for “Four Hearts Changing,” presented by Equalogy’s PlayRights, which is a one hour theatre performance about relationship violence. This funding request was also passed unanimously. “Four Hearts Changing” will be shown on Friday, March 14, in Snowden Auditorium from 1:30-2:30pm.

After many, many questions, the ACM Club was approved $2,330 to participate in the 2003 Computer Society International Design Competition (CSIDC). The money will be used to purchase hardware and software with which they will design a portable apparatus capable of reading written text to the blind. In the event that the ACM Club qualifies for the finals, they would travel to Washington D.C. this summer to compete, but the destination is currently off-limits for UMB clubs.

The Unity Club failed to obtain funding for its Multicultural Dance Event.

The Environmental Club requested $5,824 for Earth Week, which the Earth Week 2003 Committee would use to bring about increased awareness of the local ecology. The motion failed to pass.

The Socialist Club was granted $692. They requested the funding in order to have a day school on April 5, from 10am-6pm, at an undisclosed location. Allen Jones, of the editorial board of Justice, will be a lecturer at the event.

On a related note, the Socialist Club failed to appropriate $385 for various books for the club library.

The Haitian-American Society, in conjunction with the Black Student Center, requested $3,869 to hold “Tchaka Night,” to be held on March 29. The motion passed, 2-0, with one abstention. For more details, inquire at the Black Student Center.