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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Senate Notes: Senate Floored by Paul North

Paul North, of the Facilities Construction Design Team, at the Student Senate. - Photo by Gin Dumcius
Paul North, of the Facilities Construction Design Team, at the Student Senate. – Photo by Gin Dumcius

Paul North, architect for the Design Department at UMass Boston, came to last week’s Senate meeting and spoke about the coming plans to refurbish the floors of the Wheatley building.

“I’ve been asked to look at replacing as much as the flooring in the Wheatley building as is possible for $250,000,” North stated to the Senate prior to meetings with the Chancellor and Graduate Student Assembly.

“So we’ve gone through and looked at the worse condition of the worse spaces. And what I’ve been directed to look at is the areas that students would be using the most: auditoriums, hallways, lobbies, and classrooms.”

“I looked at all six floors, and it doesn’t look like $250,000 will come anywhere near replacing all the flooring, so we started with priorities, with first priorities being the hallways and the classrooms.”

Though some senators in the meeting were surprised by the need to replace the flooring, few contested the fact that the carpets in some of the classrooms stood in dire need of replacement.

“It’s almost the original carpet in most of the spaces, so it’s about 28 years old,” North said. “So it’s got ground up dirt and bacteria. You name it, it’s growing in there.”

“I don’t expect it to be a health problem, but we do have people with asthma and so forth, and they have complained.”

The floors will all be replaced with tiling, including areas that are currently carpeted. Replacing floors with tiling (as opposed to carpeting) reduces costs on materials as well as future maintenance, whereas carpeting tends to help with heat during the winter.

Renovations will take place this summer and will take about a month to complete. The work will be done by outside contractors, who will be expected to work during the night, so as to not disturb summer classes.

President Luncheons Produce “Overwhelming Output”

Acting President Tuan Pham reported that his two student luncheons, modeled after Chancellor Jo Ann Gora’s, provided “overwhelming output” on “administrative problems with customer service centers such as the bursar’s, registrar’s, financial aid, and undergraduate admissions.”

“While students at the luncheon praised the quality of our faculty, they dismissed the poor administrative efforts by those departments,” wrote Pham. “To address those problems, I have created a database matching relevant concerns with those departments so that we can create a starting point in resolving those problems.”

Officer Elections

At the last senate meeting in May, senators are sworn in and elect officers. Pham will probably go up against Fritz Hyppolite, student senator and current chair of the Campus and Community Affairs Committee, for senate presidency.

Hyppolite, of the College of Arts and Sciences, joined the Student Senate early in the fall semester, and recently lost to Omar Bukhari in a run for student trustee by a scant five votes.

Pham, of the College of Management, has been a senator for two years and became Vice President this year, ascending to the position of Acting President after President Joseph Panciotti stepped down for personal reasons. He was re-elected to the College of Management with 19 votes.

Axe-ecutive Sessioned

Last week’s Student Senate meeting went into executive session shortly after the start of the meeting, necessitating the exodus of all non-senators-with the exceptions of Director of Student Life Joyce Morgan and Student Trustee Heather Dawood-for the duration of the executive session. The vote was 4 to 0 out of seven present to go into it.

Events that transpire during executive session are not open to the public and so The Mass Media is not privy to the goings on of the senate during that time.

This marked the first time in a long while the senate had gone into executive session. Earlier in the year and the spring semester, the senate was meeting in executive session almost on a regular basis.

G. Dumcius contributed to this report.