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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

11/30 SGA Recap and Interview with SGA President

Group of Westfield State University students. Image credit: Westfield State University.


University Hall, the building that the Student Government Association had petitioned to be moved to its current location, from possibly being on the green. Image credit: Westfield State University, May 2021

SGA meetings have been a weekly matter since the beginning of the semester- Tuesdays at 5:30pm. One thing that is different is that these meetings are in person: a factor that was missing during the pandemic when they were held over Zoom. 

The meeting is held in the SGA room on the garden floor of Ely Campus Center. The room is spacious, with purple carpeting. Even though the room is large, the amount of people makes it feel like it is packed to the brim- the definition of a ‘full house’. Chatter is spread throughout the space, with hints of laughter sprinkled in. The room is buzzing all the way up until the meeting begins. 

SGA Executive Council Members 

0:00-3:00 ish minutes- Presidential Report opening and Dickinson Hall reps 

Student Government President, Cameron Kellher opens up the meeting with his presidential report; items of business, which are making the two representatives of Dickinson Hall (Nick and William) official and the replacement of Barbara Hand, who is the Coordinator of Student Involvement and retiring at the end of this semester. The two reps of Dickinson Hall are very happy to be “official”- this brings a lot of laughs due to the fact that Cameron accidentally forgot to do this, last meeting. 

3:00- 7:00 ish minutes- Barbara Hand’s retirement and replacement in detail, resignment for Hannah Robbins 

For the position of Coordinator of Student Involvement, the projector is turned on, and we view the job description that was already made by SGA. Cameron reads through the description and it is moved, also noting that the position is paid by government fees (SGA) and is only a year-long position. The job description is approved and moved to be posted through Westfield State University. Cameron then mentions that Hannah Robbins, former Vice President of Programming,  resigned from her position for the 2021-2022 year. The motion is moved. 

7:00-8:00ish minutes- Board of Trustees report

Chloe Sanfacon, student trustee, leads the Board of Trustees report. The report is brief, with the main action being that the board has a special meeting on financial strategy tonight (11/30)  from 7-9pm. It will be streamed. 

8:00-13:00 ish minutes- Food Service Committee report, Wilson Cafe and Bistro/Dining Commons questions

Aaron Lessing, Vice President of Student Life, leads the Food Service Committee report. The committee met previously on November 18th to discuss the poll that was held on what the Wilson Cafe area should be used for. There is not a final decision yet on what should go there, but it will not be a sushi place (this got a lot of laughs from both the board and the crowd). Their next meeting is Friday (Dec 3rd) in the Takoa room at 12pm, and Aaron is meeting with ResLife tomorrow. There were a few questions from the board, specifically President Kehller asking about why there is no blue cheese in the bistro. Lessing has no answer, but does say that if the Wilson Cafe space gets turned into a Starbucks, the workers will dress like the baristas at traditional Starbucks. Vice President for Publicity, Lindsey McNulty asks about why there are no more sugar cookies in the Dining Commons, Aaron does not have an answer but laughs when Lindsey mentions that “Matthew does not like the hard sugar on top of said cookies”. 

13:00-16:00 ish minutes- Res Life Concerns 

Cameron brings up how a few students came to him and said they had candles in their room over Thanksgiving break, and they were gone when they came back from said break. Said candles were both out in the open and in their drawers. A concern was brought up that Residential Life cannot go through students’ drawers, only places “where a body could be”. Laughter ensues. A question is brought up from the crowd on how to replace dining dollars. There was a recent software glitch with reloading money onto students’ accounts, because students can put just a certain amount on their accounts only once. Aaron will bring these concerns to Residential Life.

16:00-17:00 ish minutes- Substance Advisory Committee

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Lyric Lamadgeline speaks for the Substance Advisory committee and how they met for the first time this semester last Monday (11/22). The committee is currently collecting sections of  student sized handbooks of other schools, and will compare them to Westfield’s policies. The committee has agreed to meet biweekly, and Lyric announces that the next meeting will be December 6th, 6pm in Ely. 

17:00- 18:00 ish minutes- Student Life Committee 

Aaron Lessing goes over the Student Life Committee’s plans. Only 17 days left until finals. The academic honesty committee met yesterday morning (11/29), confidential. The academic honesty committee will meet on an “as-needs” basis for academic dishonesty.Meeting with Provost Mills tomorrow (12/1). 

18:00- 22:00 ish minutes- Curriculum Committee

Chloe Sanfacon/Lyric Lamadgeline goes over the matters of the Curriculum Committee.The committee met on November 5th and 19th. Two items were passed; removing a prerequisite for math and secondly, future restructuring for bringing as much  information needed upfront to let the public know that there may be future changes. This was made in relation to President Thompson’s decision to dismember colleges of arts and humanities and college of language and culture. New electives for majors will be passed. The committee will meet again on December 10th. Some questions were posed from the audience: like further elaboration on why there were so many votes against the disassemblement. The committee ran out of time at the previous committee meeting discussing whether the committee had the authority on receiving curriculum changes; many people said they did not at the meeting. Some were against due to the wording, and the department of language and culture’s new title is just inclusive to Spanish. 

21:00- 24:00 ish minutes- Enrollment Management Committee 

Lyric Lamadgeline goes over the minutes for the Enrollment Management Committee. The committee met earlier today, discussed admission numbers which are better than the fall 2019 admissions. 2,900 applicants already for fall 2022. There are 700 acceptances so far, but will most likely increase due to the committee being in the process of accepting students. There may be potential fee changes for the movement of changes fees to be based on per credit, instead of what type of enrollment they are in- part or full-time. The university has previously and currently not allowed part time students to use all the resources on campus due to their type of enrollment. The committee argues that part-time students should have the same amount of resources as full- time students do, and they have the data to back it up: 51% of cross-registered students still want these opportunities on campus. Finally, the dates for accepted students day next semester are officially confirmed. The dates will be February 23rd, March 24th and March 31st, all being week days. 

24:00- 27:00 ish minutes- Finance Committee 

The Vice President of Finance, Kelson Burke leads the update on the Finance Committee. The projector is turned on again, and the budgets for both the Dance Company and the Athletic Training club are shown, with Dance Company first. The Dance Company is proposing $1,175.00 for half the bus fee to NYC for a Rockett show. Finance committee endorsed the proposal, and the movement was passed/approved. The Athletic Training club is proposing $4,440.75 for 18 students and chaperones. They are asking this amount to be able to attend the Eastern Athletic Training Association Conference for hotel, signing up, and half of transportation. The committee also endorsed the proposal, and the movement was passed/approved. Projector is turned off. 

27:00-30:00 ish minutes- NECHI (New England Association of Higher Education) 

Daniel Currier represents NECHI and starts off with a joke about the pronunciation of NECHI, on how it’s correctly pronounced. This gets a lot of laughter. Afterwards, he leads with the fact that NECHI 2023 will have their drafts of reports completed tomorrow(12/1) in their Microsoft Teams account. Data has been assigned to groups to review over the next two weeks for what needs to be done. NECHI will also hold a “NECHI fest” on January 11th, 2022. This will be offered in person and virtually. Two members of the committee will be going and reporting on it.Pat Brian, a NECHI professional  will visit March 30th and 31st. The committee will not be collecting data or providing information by the end of January. 

30:00 -31:00 ish minutes-Publicity 

Lindsey McNulty, Vice President for Publicity led the overview for the Publicity portion of the meeting. It was brief, and the committee is looking for senators to sit on the Owl Committee. See Lindsey after the meeting if interested. 

31:00-33:00 ish minutes- Relations and Fundraising

Lindsey McNulty summarized the Relations and Fundraising report for the meeting. The committee reports that the group who raised the most money for the food drive was Lambda Sigma, the honors society for Sophomores. Nick and William, the two “newest official” members, raised $200 for Dickinson simply by asking parents at a basketball game. The way they explain it gets a lot of laughs. A direct quote from them is  “Thought outside of the box- went to a basketball game and asked parents for money”. 

33:00-34:00 ish minutes- New Business 

President Kellher states that there is no new business to be attended to. 

34:00-37:00 ish minutes- Announcements 

President Kehllher lists these events as announcements: Finance committee is meeting after SGA. Public safety is hosting Stuff, a cruiser event outside of Ely on Dec 8th 11-2pm- also accepting any kind of donations up to the 12th. Class of 2025 is holding a trivia night at 8pm in Ely Owl’s nest. Last meeting of the semester for SGA is next week, the 7th.

Meeting Adjourned. 

SGA Executive Council Members 

Interview with SGA President Cameron Kehllher

 I got the chance to interview the Student Government President, senior Cameron Kehllher through email. Here are the questions and his responses. 

1.What was your general opinion of last week’s meeting? General thoughts, opinions etc..  

  “ Last week’s meeting was a perfect example of just working through the motions on new business that needed to be handled and voted on. Sometimes it is nice to not have a guest speaker because it allows us to just run through our tasks at hand.” 

2. How has your position as President of SGA been?

“It has been incredibly busy and requires a lot of social awareness and leadership. You can’t just have your own opinions, you always have to think about everyone. It’s a big responsibility. It’s hard, but I love it!”

3.  What do you think about the candle situation? (when they were taken over thanksgiving break)

“I think that students should follow what the university says in its policy. I don’t agree with the policy though. I do not think anybody has the right to go through somebody’s personal space though.”

4.Do you think the fee changes for part time students will go through/be a good thing? Why?

“I am not sure what you mean by this? If you are referring to increases in fees in general I think unfortunately it may be necessary to adjust to the nationwide inflation going on. Costs are too high and revenue is to allow for the university to continue on and be able to provide quality services to its students so unfortunately it might be necessary.”

5.The “big money” question: what do you personally hope Wilson Cafe will become and why? 

“Wilson is being converted into a mini Starbucks cafe which I think will be a great addition!”

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