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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Senate Notes: Reconstructing Senate to Garner Student Interest

Topics ranging from reconstructing the senate to effectively reach out to the student body, to the recent senate elections, to budget and finance were discussed at the Student Senate meeting Wednesday, February 18.

The senate has joined the newly formed UMB Solidarity Network, which seeks to unify all student organizations on campus that are concerned about the budget cuts and interested in building and empowering community here. The senate plans to put together programs and services to try to capture the interest of the student body.

Interim Senate President Fritz Hippolyte commented, “It was once remarked by former U.S. ambassador from South Africa James A. Joyce, ‘Leaders are the custodians of values and resources.’ So, as leaders of the student body here, we are the custodians of your values and of your resources so we would like you to be able to come and take part and to understand what that means.”

Reaching Out to the Student Body

In order to connect with student body, the senate will run a table on the second floor of McCormack every Tuesday and Thursday from 2-4pm. Todd Babbitt, chairman of Campus and Community Affairs, plans to display a banner that reads, “Turning Student Ideas into Action.” Babbitt is in the process of creating a task force to address student concerns.

Several students on campus expressed apprehension over the Board of Trustees’ Task Force on Diversity, which met Wednesday, February 12, in the Provost’s Conference Room on the 8th floor of the Healey Library. Representatives from university policy boards were invited to attend, along with the student trustee and senate president.

Hippolyte, who was present at the meeting, commented, “Though I cannot comment on specifics within the meeting, due to the fact that it was a closed meeting, some very sensitive information was discussed, information involving individual privacy.”

The task force, assembled to address concerns about diversity and the urban mission at UMB, was looking for input from the staff, faculty, and students about addressing these issues.

The student government, which has been charged by this task force with collecting information and testimony from students, will organize a series of forums during the semester to allow students to voice concerns over issues of diversity.

Senate Elections

The Student Senate recently held elections to fill a number of seats left empty due to a rash of resignations. Interim President Hippolyte personally thanked those who had served, saying they had “served their term with the Student Senate and moved on.”

Former Senate President Tuan Pham resigned to study abroad at Oxford University, allowing Senator Susan Smith to take his place. Smith commented, “There will be lots of significant changes and improvements.” Babbitt, newly elected chairman of Campus and Community Affairs, agreed, “CCA is going to be very progressive. We will be an active, visible part of this campus. We expect a very good semester.”

Director of Student Life Joyce Morgan noted, “The new members of CLA/CSM were elected as at-large members, who don’t have voting privileges. By the bylaws, the senate cannot have more than 50% of their members in any one college.”

Funding Requests

The Student Senate granted a proposal for funding an event commemorating Black History Month. The event aims to increase student exposure to social diversity by incorporating elements of Haitian, Cape Verdean, West Indian, and African-American cultures and is scheduled to take place on Friday, February 27 from 7-12. The total cost of the event will be $4500.

The senate also approved a proposal from UMB’s Socialist Alternative for $910 to organize a bus trip to NYC on March 20 to protest the war in Iraq. Tickets will be on sale at the office of student life for $10 each.

Newly Elected Positions

President: Susan Smith Chair, Student Events and Organizations: Erica Meena Chair, Campus and Community Affairs: Todd Babbitt

Newly elected to senate

College of Management: Stephen LucienCollege of Nursing: Tristan LoweCollege of Public and Community Service: Matthew LandryCollege of Liberal Arts/College of Science and Math: Adnan Usman, Tara Delmonico, Margaret Dudley, Brian Tse, Sarah Dolan