By Jonathan Moniz, Staff Writer
Shake the Ship for the spring emester of 2017 was held last Thursday, April 20, in the Claire T. Carney Library Grand Reading Room. Featured from 5:00-7:00, Shake the Ship acted as a forum for students to voice their concerns about various topics that affected them on campus that they would like to see improvement.
Held once every semester, Shake the Ship features various members of administration, staff, and faculty from UMass Dartmouth that have expertise in the areas being discussed, so they can address the issues. Among them were the Associate Chancellors of Student Affairs, Supplies, the Tripp Center, CITS, the Director of Financial Aid, and more.
The meeting, organized by the Student Government Association (SGA), began with introductions from the various members of administration that were seated at the top of the room. They each held different positions with regards to the topics, and thus offered a selection of questions for people to ask.
The topics themselves ranged from student affairs to miscellaneous to infrastructure, transportation, housing, and security. Many of the topics featured suggestions and questions from each student on issues that they would like to see addressed.
A microphone was placed at the center of the room for each student to ask their questions, with a member of the SGA using a timer to allow each student a fair question and an equal amount of time to ask them. The hall was filled with students taking up nearly every seat.
Many of the questions dealt with the topic at hand but focused more on general issues, such as the need for better quality services, healthier options, and a diverse set to make UMass Dartmouth more accommodating.
Political issues, like the Black Lives Matter flag that had flown last semester, created a chance for dialogue and community on campus.
In terms of food, a couple students brought up “prepared foods that we can’t eat without worrying what’s in it,” specifically referring to diets they were on.
Concerns about the efficacy of Chartwells and the food quality at the Residential Hall more commonly known as Res, was brought up. Many students felt the issue with the hall was due to bad service. In response to that, one of the board members said it was largely a “space issue.”
The topics continued apace then, with multiple students returning to give feedback, suggestions, and ask questions.
Amongst them was the Financial Aid representative, who often was called forward from the audience to speak in regards to questions about finances.
The meeting was adjourned with a final statement from Chancellor Helm about the reason for the Black Lives Matter’s flag removal and also the necessary conditions they would have going forward with the community and symbols like that.
SGA will be publishing a record of the events and issues discussed at Shake the Ship, closing out the semester with work for next year.