In the last Student senate meeting of the month, one of the biggest highlights was the induction of three new senators who were unanimously elected into the Student senate: Sanjay Tucker, Marshall Burt, and Sumaya Mohamed. Discussions surrounding Senator Goulding’s second formal proposal of his committee concerning the USM First Responders and the USM students was another topic throughout the meeting.
Marshall Burt, a political science major, didn’t see any policies at the time that he possibly wanted to change, but held that his biggest concern was that he wants to “improve the quality of life on campus”, specifically, “with people who want to get more involved” and that he would like to “help people.” After being voted into the senate, he immediately left the meeting because he had somewhere else he had to be.
Sanjay Tucker, a second year political science major, wants to take on the responsibility of improving the parking situations on campus, increasing the use of facilities in some of the student areas on campus, and also noted how “tuition and endowment goes to some other organizations that could use less of it.” On the concern for student parking, he said how the placement of parking lots on the Gorham campus are “not great places for different students”, and that situation with the Portland campus parking garage and construction all around
campus are “becoming more of a hassle.” He does hope that all of these things will be “resolved in the near future.”
Sanjay Mohamed, a senior who majors in health sciences, was previously a part of the Student Senate back in 2020 during the early COVID months, when senate meetings were held via Zoom. Mohamed Stepped away due to mental health concerns, and her feelings towards the culture of the Student Senate that was present at the time. Her overall goal for wanting to come back to the senate is to “be a part of the change.” A strong advocate for mental health and social justice, she believes genuine change and conversation can be had with everyone who is now involved with the Student Senate.
Along with three new senators being elected, Senator Goulding’s new committee proposal was brought back into the conversation after being tabled at the October 17th meeting due to Senators needing more time to look through Goulding’s proposal. Senator Goulding began the discussion with a passionate speech, reiterating what was covered at the previous meeting. While bringing up his past experiences as a police officer in Tennessee, he stressed his importance of wanting this committee to be a bridge of communication and a “funnel point” of student’s concerns so people on both sides can be treated with more care.
After his speech came to a close, the last hour of the meeting was used to discuss the potential of this new committee. A wide variety of questions and conversations were had, heavily mixed with poignant questions, concerns drawn from personal emotion and memory, as well as a possibility of the committee being placed and used in different areas of the SGA. Thoughts of restructuring Senator Goulding’s proposal were also discussed.
The first vote put in front of the senate was whether or not they should vote on the proposal or if they should table it for the next meeting. Only two of the senators opposed tabling the proposal for the next meeting, and wished to vote on it then. In the end, it was decided that the proposal will be tabled and voted on at a meeting sometime in the future. The next Student Senate meeting will take place on the night of Monday, November 14th.