Melissa Johnson

Mount Holyoke welcomes incoming class of Yellow Sphinxes

Mount Holyoke welcomes incoming class of Yellow Sphinxes

The Mount Holyoke community gathered to celebrate the new academic year in Gettell Amphitheater for the College’s annual Convocation on Sept. 3. Excitement and nervousness filled the air as students proudly sported their class colors and chanted their class years.

Senate holds final meeting of academic year, elections finalized

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

Senate met for the final time for the 2018-2019 academic year on Tuesday, April 23. The main focus of the meeting was to celebrate the conclusion of the academic year. The meeting also spent time on the Support PVTA Initiative and concluded the All-Campus Elections for this year. 

Senate discusses 2019-20 budget, second wave of SGA voting

Senate discusses 2019-20 budget, second wave of SGA voting

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

On Tuesday, April 16, Senate held their weekly meeting in the Blanchard Great Room. The meeting was mainly focused on voting for the upcoming Student Government Association (SGA) budget and the updated Ways and Means guidelines for the 2019-20 academic year. Senate also announced that the second wave of the all-campus Election poll is out to be voted by the student body. The SGA wants all students to vote in order to reach quorum, and the link for the poll can be found in students’ emails. Polls close on Monday, April 22. 

Senate election candidates address peers, members vote

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

On Tuesday, April 2, Senate met in the Great Room in Blanchard Community Center for in-senate elections and working group mini town halls. Senators also took the time to discuss student feedback and ideas on behalf of their constituents and the specific groups they represent on campus. 

Senate discusses Student Conference Committee Survey findings

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

This week’s Senate meeting, held the evening of Tuesday, March 5 in the Blanchard Great Room, focused mainly on the data results from the Student Conference Committee (SCC) survey taken by the student body last semester. Student co-chairs of the committee, Jackie Rich ’21 and Lila Oren-Dahan ’20, presented to the senators.

Student Government Senate discusses smoking ban with Rachel Alldis

Student Government Senate discusses smoking ban with Rachel Alldis

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

Senate held a Town Hall meeting with Rachel Alldis, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The town hall meeting was structured with a focus on the new campus Smoke-Free Initiative announced in an email sent by President Sonya Stephens on Feb. 4.  

Community protests Hampshire administration’s lack of transparency

Community protests Hampshire administration’s lack of transparency

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

In light of recent events, the Hampshire College Board of Trustees released information regarding the admittance of a limited Fall 2019 class on Feb. 1. The Board voted to authorize the College to admit two distinct categories of applicants this fall: students who accepted Hampshire’s offer to enroll through Early Decision I and students who accepted Hampshire’s offer of admission last year but chose to take a gap year and defer their enrollment to Fall 2019. The Board also announced that Hampshire will not enroll any other applicants for Fall 2019 or Spring 2020. 

Senate appoints new secretary

Senate appoints new secretary

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Mount Holyoke’s Student Government Association (SGA) senators came together for their weekly senate meeting, spending most of the time voting on crucial issues for this upcoming semester.  

Senate reviews budget allocation

Senate reviews budget allocation

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

To kick off the first senate meeting of the semester on Tuesday, Jan. 29, SGA held a town hall meeting with Vice President of Finance and Administration and Treasurer Shannon Gurek and President Sonya Stephens. The meeting’s focus was on the distribution of Mount Holyoke’s budget on a yearly basis.

Senate holds town hall with Deans

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

Senate hosted the second town hall meeting of the year on Tuesday, Oct. 23, attended by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Jon Western and Associate Dean of Faculty Dorothy Mosby. Following the “Support MHC Survivors” Rally on Skinner Green earlier that day, Western and Mosby responded to several questions about the faculty response to sexual assault allegations against a Mount Holyoke professor.

Senate discusses Student Conference Committee findings

Senate discusses Student Conference Committee findings

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Student Government Association’s Senate met for the second time this semester, spending the majority of the meeting collaboratively choosing a focus for the year. Senators split into small groups to discuss their individual ideas, then shared with the whole group. They then voted on each suggestion and settled on a goal for this year: “integration.”

Senate holds town hall with Stephens, Hall, Sanders-McMurtry

Senate holds town hall with Stephens, Hall, Sanders-McMurtry

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the Blanchard Great Room was filled with Mount Holyoke senators and students as the first town hall meeting of the semester kicked off. The meeting featured three panelists: President Sonya Stephens, Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Marcella Runell Hall and Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Kijua Sanders-McMurtry. The meeting gave students space to express their concerns and questions they had about their organizations and personal lives on campus.

South Hadley receives pedestrian safety grant

South Hadley receives pedestrian safety grant

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

South Hadley is one of 22 local communities to which the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has awarded funding to be part of the Complete Streets Program. According to the Massachusetts government website, “a Complete Street is one that provides safe and accessible options for all modes of transportation — walking, biking, transit and vehicles — for people of all ages and abilities.”

MGM Casino Opens in Springfield

MGM Casino Opens in Springfield

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

Just 20 minutes down the road from Mount Holyoke, the MGM Springfield Casino has officially opened its doors to the public after years of construction. Despite controversy over the $960 million project, the casino now sits in the heart of Springfield, Massachusetts.  

College drafts new faculty-student dating policy

College drafts new faculty-student dating policy

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

Mount Holyoke faculty have joined together to create a campus-wide policy prohibiting all romantic relationships between faculty and students. Pre-existing faculty-student relationships must also be disclosed to the College under the new policy. Mount Holyoke joins a growing number of institutions in updating these policies,  including, the UMass, Amherst, which recently announced an immediately effective policy barring all faculty-student relationships on its campus. 

Senate approves plan to make campus water bottle-free

Senate approves plan to make campus water bottle-free

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

At last Tuesday’s weekly Senate meeting, SGA senators voted in favor of the student-led initiative to make Mount Holyoke College a water bottle-free campus. This is the first of many steps that the student organization Think Outside the Bottle is taking in order to accomplish their goal of making the College a water bottle-free institution. 

Frances Perkins scholars share their stories

Frances Perkins scholars share their stories

BY MELISSA JOHNSON ’20

Mount Holyoke College’s Frances Perkins scholars (FPs) presented passionate monologues to students, faculty and administrators on Wednesday, April 4. Guests filled Gamble Auditorium to hear the unique stories from a handful of FPs, who described their personal journeys to the gates of Mount Holyoke College. This year’s monologues were a part of the second annual Building On Our Momentum (BOOM!) conference, which took place last week.