SGA elections fail to reach quorum, Senate votes to use results anyway

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

On Tuesday, April 3, SGA Senate gathered in Hooker Auditorium to discuss all campus election results, Ways and Means Committee budget decisions and more. 

The meeting kicked off with Executive Board Member and Chair of the Committees, Anna Zheng ’18, who told the crowd that the all campus election was short of meeting quorum by 135 votes. 

The senators voted on whether to go ahead with the votes already tallied, despite the low number, or to extend the voting polls open to all students until Sunday. The senators voted in favor of using the votes already tallied, and announcing the winners of the election. Due to SGA rules, the results cannot be announced  until at least 24 hours after the decision, so results were announced in a campus-wide email Wednesday night.

After discussing the all campus election, Chair of Senate Liz Brown ’20 added that all students are welcome to go to Boston’s state house on Tuesday, April 10, to rally against sexual violence on college campuses. Transportation will be provided and attendees will be off-campus from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. that day.  

“Right now, two sexual assault prevention bills sit before the Massachusetts state legislature that are almost universally supported by survivors, advocates and researchers,” said Brown. “If this bill goes through, it will be the first time in Massachusetts history that a bill was written, created and advocated for by students.” 

Executive Board Treasurer Joud Mar’i ’19 spoke on behalf of the Ways and Means Committee to explain the current budget. Tensions rose in the audience as Mar’i presented an infographic on the current state of the SGA budget to debunk rumors and complaints related to why the SGA isn’t able to fund all campus organizations. Mar’i indicated all the different places where the budget has to be allocated, and said that resources are rapidly depleting.

“This year we were out of the norm. We received 70 applications for the month of April, as opposed to last year when we received just 37 applications,” said Mar’i. 

Mar’i went on to explain that this is a huge jump for the SGA, and that the committee is trying to allocate money fairly without taking more money out of reserves. Mar’i also gave examples of how organizations can cut back on expenses such as food, unnecessary supplies or printed paper for flyers. Mar’i went on to answer questions from senators. 

Ultimately, Mar’i explained, “It is important to note that we’re not in a deficit. There is still money in the reserves, we just need to find ways to save that money.” 

Finally, announcements were made about Campus Action Day and Think Outside the Bottle. 

For Campus Action Day, there will be a volunteer activity on April 13 from 1 - 4 p.m. to take time to work with Facilities Management to clean up campus. There will be five tasks; raking, sweeping, picking up trash, clearing out industrial wells and removing invasive species around Lower Lake. Volunteers are needed to lead teams and complete tasks.

Representatives from the Think Outside the Bottle campaign spoke about gaining student support for making the College a bottle-free campus. Before gaining support from other parts of the College (i.e. faculty, admissions, athletics, etc.), Think Outside the Bottle is looking for student support to lead. More information is available on Think Outside the Bottle’s Facebook page. 

Senate meetings will continue throughout the month of April. Meetings are open to the Mount Holyoke Community and take place from 7:30 - 9 p.m. every Tuesday night in Hooker Auditorium. 

Mount Holyoke News

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