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Class of 2018 and Hall Councils join Senate at Tuesday’s meeting

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The Student Government Association had their first meeting with a full council of representatives last Tuesday. The class of 2018 and presidents of the different residence halls on campus were welcomed into their first SGA meeting of the academic year.

Rebecca DiVico, president of the SGA, welcomed her first guest speaker, Erik Gallant. Gallant works for the university’s marketing department and has the title of social media coordinator. He worked the news and information website for MassLive.com in Springfield for eight years and is now here at the university to help students and faculty groups on projects or ideas through any social media and digital medium.

An example of a project, Gallant said, is the newly launched Facebook group pages for all of the university’s residence halls. He said he was pleased to know that the SGA has a general Twitter account and that a few of the executive council members had Twitter accounts for their positions.

Joshua Clark, vice president of student life, has a Twitter account, @VP_StudentLife. Matthew Carlin, vice president of finance, has a Twitter account, @VP_Finance. Executive secretary Andrew Morin’s account is @WSUExecSec.

“I encourage you all to think about how you are going to use those accounts going forward. The exciting things about these mediums is that there is really unlimited potential and you are really only curved by your creativity and willingness to try new things and experiment,” Gallant said.

Dr. Carlton Pickron, vice president of student affairs, spoke after Gallant and gave a warm welcome to the newly elected senators to the SGA. He gave all the senators new 175th lapel pins. He said the pins signify their leadership as SGA senators. “Your work is very, very, important,” Pickron said.

Because of the ratification of the Massachusetts State College Association faculty union contract, all students, Pickron said, will have to approve the policy of allowing students to serve on governance committees by voting on a simple yes or no question.

Besides the SGA voting, Pickron said that the need to include the university’s student body is a priority, and he told the SGA to talk to their constituents on voting.

He said, “I am hoping that everyone will say, with a resounding yes, we want to serve on governance committees making great decisions here at the university.” A proper write up will give more information to the student body about how to vote and what they are voting on in the coming weeks, he said.

The madam president reclaimed the podium after Pickron was finished and said she was very excited to have a full room of senators for the first time this year. The first of her many presidential duties of the evening was accepting the Hall Council and class of 2018 election results. Both motions passed unanimously.

DiVico also motioned to approve Tyler Hastings as the commuter council president for the 2014 and 2015 academic year, which passed unanimously. Next on her agenda was finding a representative to be the parliamentarian for the academic year. The parliamentarian oversees the behavior of each meeting according to Robert’s Rules of Order, which are the guidelines for how the senators can act during official meetings.

Ryan Losco, president of the class of 2016, nominated Sara Palis, representative-at-large, as parliamentarian and she got the title. DiVico also called on one representative from each class to be on the Rules and Regulations Committee.

Students nominated each other and the final outcomes were the following: Megan Doerle, representative for the class of 2015, Ryan Losco for 2016, Brandon Trafford for 2017, and Aaron Sylvia for 2018.

Lastly, DiVico announced that Dr. Elizabeth Preston, interim president, would be at the next meeting of the SGA to answer any questions from the senators.

Joshua Clark, vice president of student life, congratulated the winners of the class of 2018 and hall council elections. He said he hopes all the new representatives will have a productive and fun time while being on the SGA and then started his report.

He said he met with Lisa McMahon and Father Warren Savage to talk about the new renovations to the Interfaith Center. He said the renovations will encompass cleaning and preparing the center for the different faiths that will celebrate there. More renovations will be done in the summer, he added.

Clark updated the SGA on the vandalized gazebos saying that there is an official commitment by the Facilities and Operations to begin cleaning the offensive graffiti. He said it would take a couple of days to sand the gazebos.

Clark lastly praised Public Safety for responding to three incidents that happened last week: the first was malicious destruction of property, liquor law violation, and, on Sept. 27, possession of class D substance (marijuana) with the intent to distribute. He also said a total of 645 parking tickets were issued in September.

Mikayla Culley, representative to the class of 2016, gave the first Food Services Committee report. She said that most people are upset about the disappearance of the french vanilla coffee creamer. Sodexo, Culley said, is no longer carrying the coffee creamer. She said that the production manager is going to try to obtain the coffee creamer for the dining hall.

Tori Landry, representative to the class of 2015, asked Culley what happened to the salad dressing known as “WSU Dressing.” Culley said that the DC is not supposed to have it out anymore because “[Sodexo] uses ingredients that are left over from others things to make it.”

Justin Connolly, community relations and fundraising representative, announced that the annual blood drive would take place on Oct. 8 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Parenzo gym.

Shannon Cullinane, vice president of programming, said that over 200 students attended brown bag bingo last Friday and that Family Day, on Saturday was a great success. She also announced that on Oct. 18, the Campus Actives Board would be going to six flags.

Cullinane said tickets go on sale Oct. 6 in the SGA office for $15, which covers the bus trip and admission into the ark. However, she said, the ticket does not cover the fright fest package.

Andrew Morin, executive secretary, proudly announced a high 14.46% voter turnout for the new class of 2018 elections. The SGA applauded on Morin’s successful campaign to get first years to vote. Last year’s first year election had a voter turnout of about 10%.

With the first month of the semester over and a full Senate, the SGA looks to pick up the pace and start October on a high note.

The next meeting of the Student Government Association will be Oct. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Peter D. Mazza Student Government Room in the garden level of Ely by Dunkin’ Donuts.

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