SGA

SGA holds official induction ceremony, sets goals for upcoming year

BY LIZ LEWIS ’22

The second Senate meeting of the semester gathered on Tuesday evening in the Blanchard Great Room. Due to the amount of first-years and new senators in the Student Government Association (SGA) at this point in the year, much of the night was dedicated to the basics of how to be a senator and how to handle the responsibilities when the work gets tough. First, however, the Executive Board (E-Board) addressed logistics and announcements. 

Per usual, the evening’s agenda began with the town hall portion, in which the representatives of different organizations could voice updates, concerns and announcements brought forth by their constituents. Among the topics mentioned were issues with student parking and the possibility of converting the Morgan Street lot into a full-time student parking area, cross-contamination of gluten-free options in the Dining Commons and the Student Conference Committee (SCC) Survey going live. 

Next on the agenda was the official Senate Induction Ceremony, in which students signed a black book with their name and position. Each student was called up individually and presented with a small pin bearing the Mount Holyoke seal. 

A significant portion of the night was dedicated to teaching and sharing strategies to maintain self-care and healthy communication while fulfilling the duties of a senator. The E-Board distributed pamphlets on how to write effective emails to constituents, a weekly duty of a club or hall senator. 

“You want people to understand that you’re a resource for them, you want them to reach out to you,” Esha Sridhar ’22, E-Board member, said to the crowd of students. 

This year, Senate is taking a new organizational direction. Instead of having a town hall meeting every week, as in past years, the SGA board has structured most meetings with built-in working groups of six to eight senators, who sit at the same table. During meetings of these groups, senators will discuss ongoing campus issues that their constituents have raised, with the goal of reaching a consensus on problems deserving focus and their potential solutions. With this new streamlined approach, SGA hopes to increase the participation and influence of individuals at Senate meetings. 

Also new this year is a mission to present every SGA goal, motion and plan to Senate before implementation. The E-Board discussed goals and priorities of SGA this year, including communication and transparency, student engagement and bridging the gap between students and administration. On a larger scale, SGA hopes to focus on academic success and stress reduction, personal and financial wellness of students and supporting a thriving campus culture of dialogue. 

“You all are as much a part of implementing [these goals] as we are,” Sridhar said in her closing remarks. 

There will be voting next week to fill the two new positions of Public Relations Officer and Secretary. Senate meets in the Blanchard Great Room on Tuesdays from 7:30-9 p.m.

Senate discusses First Generation students, campus police

BY SHELL LIN '17 

The Student Government Association Senate met in Blanchard great room Tuesday night to discuss recent issues on campus, including transgender students’ experiences, the Five College First Generation Conference and the SGA budget.

Senate discusses election results, SCC survey

BY ALLYSON HUNTOON '19

“Senate must be a place where we learn about Mount Holyoke through a diverse range of perspectives,” said Liz Brown ’20. She addressed SGA senators with the hope of becoming next year’s chair of Senate, explaining her hopes for the future of Mount Holyoke and Senate’s role on campus.

SGA discusses First Gen Students, AccessAbility Services and more

BY ALLYSON HUNTOON '19

On the evening of Tuesday, Feb 28, MHC Senators could be found sitting in four separate working groups. Each of these groups aims to address specific topics of student interest: AccessAbility Services, first generation and low income students, Facilities Management and the Career Development Center. The goal of these groups is to connect students with the respective offices regarding their specific concerns in order to generate positive change. Tuesday’s meeting updated attendees on the progress and concerns of each working group and introduced the directors and officers from each of the college departments addressed.

Immigration ban weighs on campus community

Immigration ban weighs on campus community

BY ANNA SHORTRIDGE '19 

President Trump's recent executive order on immigration has barred citizens from the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. Refugee admission from these countries has been suspended for 120 days, while Syrian refugees have been barred from entering the United States for an unspecified period of time. 28 percent of Mount Holyoke's student body is made up of international students – many of whom are from the Middle East. This executive order will greatly impact the ability of many of these international students' ability to return home and travel. 

Student government addresses ban in Senate

BY NICOLÉ VILLACRES '18

The Student Government Association hosted Jennifer Medina, immigration advisor for international students, and Donna Van Handle '74, dean of international students, at senate on Tuesday to address questions regarding the recent executive order. Students expressed concerns regarding the Trump administration's immigration policy and its possible effects on international students and parents of international students visiting for graduation. 

SGA E-Board and Class Board officials elected

SGA E-Board and Class Board officials elected

BY HANNAH ROACH '17

This year’s All Campus Elections took place over the last week, opening on March 31 and closing April 8. All positions for Class Boards, as well as the SGA Executive Board, were open. The winners were announced Tuesday, April 12 in Senate by the All Campus Elections Committee.