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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Senate Notes: Battle Brews Over Budget

Possible Budget Battle Over Splitting of Position

The Budget and Finance Committee submitted its budget proposal for 2003-2004 to the Student Senate last week. Two points of contention in the proposed budget were splitting the position of Network Administrator in two (Network Administrator and Office Secretary), and the possibility of reducing the staff of Student Life.

The splitting of the position of Network Administrator drew a lot of attention amongst the senators present.

“I attended a meeting a couple of weeks ago in regards to splitting the Network Administrator position and I felt that we should not do that at this time. And it was agreed upon at that meeting that we would examine the position and job description,” stated Trustee Heather Dawood.

“I’m concerned Budget and Finance has decided to do something different than what was agreed upon.”

Aside from restructuring the duties of the old Network Administrator position, splitting the position would also involve dividing the money allotted for the original Network Administrator between the two new positions.

Budget and Finance Chair and Student Trustee-Elect Omar Bukhari defended the decision of the committee, stating, “When we went over both positions, it was clear that the duties of the Network Administrator are different from that of the Secretary.

“As of right now, it’s very hard to find a person that has both of those skills. And we had to make that clear in the budget that they are two different positions.

“The committee felt that it would be better if we have two positions so that in the future, it would be easier to hire them both,” he continued.

The budget proposal was sent back to the Budget and Finance Committee for further review. Approval of the budget requires a majority vote at two full senate meetings. There are only three such meetings left in the semester.

Those who wish to vote against the budget because of an item they might disagree with, like the splitting of the Network Administrator’s position, face a difficult decision: vote for the budget, or lose your jobs. If the budget isn’t passed, the senate receives only a fraction of the budget’s money: a little over $4,000, far less than the near half-million needed to maintain student activity operations.

Honors Director McAlpine Promotes Prgram

Monica McAlpine, Director of the Honors Program, met with the Student Senate last week and talked about the Undergraduate Research Awards Program. The program is four years old and received a total of $110,000 of funding -$20,000 of which came from the Student Senate.

Director McAlpine explained that the Honors Program also participates in the statewide Massachusetts Conference for Public Higher Education as well as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

“UMass Boston presents some of the best projects,” stated Director McAlpine. “And often times, in fact, at the national conferences, we really stand out.”

Students who are not in the Honors Program are eligible for this funding as well, as over 70% of the students who received funding were not members of the Honors Program.

Support Your Local School

Trustee Dawood reminded everyone that there will be a statewide Student Advisory Council meeting on campus Thursday, April 24.

“We will be inviting all students to come here,” Dawood said. “[This] is another way to create dialogue on how we’re going to respond to the governor’s public higher education proposal.”

CCA Chair Fritz Hyppolite reports that the Campus and Community Affairs Committee voted to continue the Public Higher Education Made Personal letter-writing campaign.

The CCA also voted on a resolution be put forth for that day’s senate meeting in support of public higher education. A final draft of the resolution is currently on the UMass Boston website, which states in part, “[W]e, the UMass Boston Student Senate, urge both the Governor and the State Legislature to set affordable tuition for students and enact no further cuts to state tuition; ensure viable strategies to make a college education more accessible than it is currently to the broadest citizenry possible; and maintain or increase the value of a Massachusetts public college education over time.”

Not So Fund Anymore

Emergency committee meetings were held last week to provide clubs and centers with one last opportunity to request funds for the semester. Last Friday was also the final day clubs and centers could file paperwork to use their funds outside of UMass.

UMass Nation was awarded $150 for the purchase of a trophy to be given out to the winner of their art competition. Participants of the contest will compete to create a piece of art using recycled products. All such artwork will be displayed in the Harbor Art Gallery at the conclusion of the contest.

$4,700 was also awarded to UMass Nation for a Harbor Cruise that will launch May 24 at the Boston Harbor wharf. All students are invited to this free event (200 tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis) and additional information can be obtained from the UMass Nation public relations staff.

The Queer Student Union was given $2,936 to hold a drag show in the plaza between McCormack and Wheatley at 2:30 on May 6. The QSU’s contribution to the Spring Festival will include performers, food, and fun.

$4,710 was given to the Student Arts & Events Council to hold a barbeque on May 6, in collaboration with the Queer Student Union’s event.

The WREC Center was awarded $200 with which they would have purchased tickets to an Anime Convention held in Boston last weekend at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. However, due to the time involved in the process of transferring funds between UMB and the convention, tickets could not be purchased in time for the event.

$8,500 was loaned to the Black Student Center to help fund Up You Mighty Race’s production of “Fences,” which will be held over the summer vacation.

$1,639 was awarded to the Undergraduate Biology Club for their yearly trip to the Nantucket field station. Each year, the Biology Club takes over a dozen students to Nantucket for a series of experiments and lectures.

The Kung-Fu Club was given $525 to buy t-shirts for its members to promote the club within the campus and promote UMB within the Kung-Fu community, most notably at tournaments.