The Rundown: SGA Discusses the Importance of Little Things that Lead to Big Events and recent Updates in Counseling Services

Nicholas Valdez, Staff Writer, Managing Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) of Fitchburg State meets on a weekly basis in an effort to “empower the student body and represent their issues and concerns.” Although these meetings are open to all students, attendance outside of the committee members is seldom seen. The Point believes that coverage over these events is necessary to keep the student body further informed on any developments and decisions occurring within these meetings that could very well impact student life on and off of campus. 


Nov. 1 Meeting


Executive Reports


President Miranda Gustin reported the resignation of Senators Kaya Scarela and Said Razzaq. President Gustin informs that Scarela’s resignation came about due to an unfortunate and understandable conflict with academics, much like Razzaq’s reason to step down. Although neither Scarela nor Razzaq were present at the meeting, Razzaq left President Gustin with a few parting words for the entire Student Government Association.


“Since being sworn in, I’ve made a lot of good memories and was happy to get to know you as my fellow senators. As a former member of MassPIRG, who campaigned for the organization during the last semester’s referendum, it has been an honor to be trusted to serve alongside you guys and get to know you more.” said Razzaq. “I wanted to make sure that I finished my job before I left. Thank you everyone and I hope the rest of the semester lets you get big things done.”


Before finishing her own report, President Gustin asked everyone to close their eyes and raise their hands if they have ever voted for the budget allocation of a club, participated in homecoming, participated in the Falcon Talks event, voted to help out at the Boys & Girls Club, advocated for a student’s concerns by contacting a liaison, or voted in a new senator. 


“In this half of this semester we’ve done more little things that lead to bigger things than we’ve done in a long time.” said Gustin.


Gustin wanted to point out to all of the senators that all of the things that may be deemed as small, like simply voting for the budget allocation of a club, or voting in support of a club’s enactment, aren’t really as small as they may seem. 


“Those clubs sponsor other people’s interests, identities—things that they wouldn’t be able to express in the way that they’re trying to express if it wasn’t for you.” Said Gustin.


Committee Reports


Senator Timothy Lwanga, on behalf of the Advocacy Committee, followed President Gustin’s speech by reporting about the committee’s continued efforts in addressing issues concerning dysfunctional water problems and allegations of disturbances from student athletes in the rec center.


Nov. 8 Meeting


Executive Reports


Student Trustee Allison Turner reported that an enrollment update from Richard Toomey, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, explained that Fitchburg State has expanded recruitment travel, now not only focusing on Massachusetts but New Hampshire as well. 


Turner also explains that admissions decisions have started being released on October 1, rather than November 1. This has led to five student deposits for Fall 2023, which is already more than what the school had at this time last year. Another change that the school has made for recruiting students is its enrollment process being newly available through CommonApp.


“As many of you might know from your time applying, this was not something we were previously a part of,” said Turner.


Treasurer Zachary Cormier reported that the Financial Committee’s budget is $11,026, and the travel budget is $25,500.


Cormier also wanted to acknowledge that the semester is almost over and he is still looking for someone to succeed his position as treasurer.


“If you have any questions about it, please contact me. This position supplies excellent opportunities that will benefit your future endeavors no matter what line of work you’ll be going into.” Explained Cormier, before hitting his trademark “stay positive and be legendary.”


Committee Reports


Senator Lwanga met with the Advocacy Committee again and contacted Capital Planning to discuss the same ongoing issues that have been occurring with the water fountains in the McKay building and with the laundry machines in the Simonds building.


Secretary Matthew Messina reported on behalf of the recruitment committee that two events have been lined up for SGA. These include Falcon Feud, which will be happening on Nov. 21 from 7:00 p.m. to  9:00 p.m. in the Falcon Hub; and a screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” that will be happening from 8 p.m. to 11p.m., in the Falcon Hub as well. The Falcon Pub will be open for both events.


Liaison Reports


Senator Timothy Lwanga, Counseling Services Liaison, has updated that Director of Counseling Services Dr. Robert Hynes has announced that a new counselor has been hired and will be starting on November 14. During his conversation with Dr. Hynes, Senator Lwanga reports that there was a discussion about “self-care relaxation spaces,” a concept that was originally brought up by a student during the Falcon Talks event on Nov. 2. Lwanga explained the idea of creating backup clinical spaces that will also function as relaxation rooms and meditation spaces.


“Students would be able to reserve these rooms through QR codes. This is still a work in progress,” said Lwanga, “and will take some time because it’ll require coordination with other departments.” 


New Business


$2,500 was allotted to the Lacrosse Club.