By Sebastian Moronta, SGA Correspondent
This week, the Student Government Association handled a few student issues, reviewed a proposal for an increase to the student fee, and considered several student funded programs submitted by student organizations.
At long last, the hole in the ceiling of Willow has been patched, the infrastructure committee announced. They also spoke of the arrival of a new disc golf course to be built on campus, which should be up and running in April.
The issue of finals week is one that has come before the SGA a several times in the past. In the academic calendar, specific blocks of time are allocated for final exams, but some faculty members schedule their final exams/presentations/assessments the week before in order to get out early for the semester.
Students have complained that this doesn’t allow them to make use of the designated study time, and the SGA has clarified the policy, stating that while final exams have to be administered during finals week, final presentations or non-cumulative final tests do not. Whether the policy will be revised to close the loophole remains to be determined.
To discuss his work as the chair of the Student Affairs Committee, The Torch sat down with Carson Longendorfer, a fourth-year student and a bioengineering and philosophy double-major at UMass Dartmouth. Apart from Student Affairs, Carson is involved with the policy and academic affairs committees, motivated by a genuine interest in the work.
Student Affairs, as Carson describes, is a very wide area concerning itself with all aspects of student life, including the student affairs office, housing, SAIL, and more.
As part of Student Affairs, Carson’s work is primarily to improve the experience of other students on campus, and something that he’s particularly interested in improving is the new guest sign-in system implemented by the housing department this year.
The new system requires students to pre-register guests on an online application before they can be admitted into residential halls, a process meant to ease the process of visitation by allowing students to use their phones in lieu of a pen-and-paper system.
Students have found the new system cumbersome, however, and housing has noticed some try to sneak past sign-in officials to avoid it altogether.
Carson is working with housing to develop a new, simpler swipe sign-in system that could find a balance. At this point, housing is in search of a software that would fit their needs, and for housing, finding a solution that works for both the administration and the student body is a priority.
Carson has one more year at UMass to complete his five-year program, and looking to the future, he is excited by many of the prospects laid out in the recently released master plan for the campus.
Specifically, he thinks the arrival of private developers to work on the school’s residential buildings will be good for students. “Privatization can be scary, but I think it will be really good for the students, other schools have done it.” Much of the work in the master plan won’t be carried out for several years, but the campus is always improving, thanks in part to Carson and his team.