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SGA holds first meeting of the fall semester

By Ashlyn Kelly

SGA discussed issues with parking, Wi-Fi, and vaccine policy at its first meeting Sept. 14.

Secretary Samuel Houle said he was concerned about residents and commuters being ticketed for parking in the wrong lot after the Franklin Street Lot was closed due to construction.

“The whole parking situation is confusing,” said Houle. “They announced [the parking change] at the last second and then just immediately started ticketing for the wrong parking lot.”

He said he spoke to Officer Katelyn Kelley about issuing warning tickets for the first few weeks so University Police is not “preying on the confusion.”

President McKenzie Ward said the Wi-Fi continues to cut out on campus despite the University going remote last year, forcing students to rely on the internet for classes.

During a meeting with Lorretta Holloway, vice president of enrollment and student development, Ward said Holloway’s internet cut out three times in 20 minutes.

She said every semester, students get told the Wi-Fi has improved, but it never does.

Dara Barros, diversity and inclusion officer, said she is concerned for students who may work late due to places on campus closing early.

Barros said Sandella’s used to be open until 12 a.m., but now it closes at 10 p.m.

She added during her first year, the library was open until 1 a.m. Now, it closes at 9 p.m.

Students who have later schedules are “not given the same opportunity,” said Barros.

SGA members also discussed their upcoming TV raffle for vaccinated or religiously or medically exempt students.

According to the Framingham State University 2021-22 COVID-19 Data Dashboard, as of Sept. 11, only 81% of students have either uploaded their vaccine information or received an exemption.

Ward said SGA is hoping this giveaway will motivate students to comply with the vaccine policy.

She added the winner would be chosen by an automatic generated lottery.

During the Diversity and Inclusion Officer’s Report, Barros said she had been working with Constanza Cabello, former vice president for diversity, inclusion, and community engagement, over the summer to create an affinity group space on campus.

Barros added she will be continuing the work with Eric Nguyen, director of the Center for Inclusive Excellence (CIE).

She wanted the space to help create a mentorship program for the smaller affinity groups “to help them be more established on campus,” said Barros.

There is an upcoming Engagement Day for affinity groups on Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. in the CIE, according to Barros.

During her President’s Report, Ward said she was “glad” the University was taking a strong stance on COVID-19 precautions.

She added students risk removal from campus if they do not upload their vaccine information or receive a religious or medical exemption.

During her Advisor’s Report, Sara Gallegos, director of Student Involvement and Leadership

Development, outlined goals the SGA e-Board drew up over the summer.

The goals included working with University Police to improve dialogue among officers and students, the Health Center and Dean of Students to clarify the medical cannabis use policy, collaborate with student organizations, and offer more diverse events on campus.

Gallegos also asked SGA members to hold their peers accountable for not wearing masks.

“I can go around and yell at everybody to put their mask on as much as possible, but then immediately, they take it off – particularly in lots of common spaces,” said Gallegos.

She added if she gets any more complaints about the Game Room through University Police, she will have to shut it down.

During the meeting, SGA swore in Senator sophomore John Finkle, and two e-Board members, Barros and Houle.

Now that they’ve returned to in-person meetings, SGA’s traditional “U-Rock” award was given to Barros.

[Editor’s Note: McKenzie Ward is Opinions Editor for The Gatepost.]


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