SA Votes To Change Its Name to the “Senate” in Final Meeting of the 2022–23 Year

The Student Assembly (SA) voted to change its name to the “Senate” in a resolution passed at its final meeting for the 2022–23 academic year on Tuesday night.

“Right now our body is known as the Student Assembly, which is a little bit of a misnomer since we’re not really like an assembly, we’re more like a senate,” said Community Relations Committee Chair Joshua Golden, MCAS ’25. “And also, ‘SA’ is a really unfortunate acronym.”

The resolution was passed by the required supermajority of all seated members, counting any members not present at the meeting as an abstention vote. With the name change, current SA representatives will now be referred to as “senators.”

According to UGBC Vice President Julia Spagnola, MCAS ’23, the SA used to be referred to as the Senate.

“This body was formerly known as the Senate,” Spagnola said. “That was changed my sophomore year, so that was changed in 2020 to Student Assembly. So it hasn’t been Student Assembly for that long.”

Trent Liesching, a SA representative who voted against the change, shared his concerns that changing the name back after a short period of time may cause confusion for administrators.

“I think teetering back and forth is just going to make it more confusing for them, which, you know, I think is kind of the most important thing that we have to keep in mind,” Liesching, MCAS ’23, said.

Jonah Kotzen, UGBC president-elect and MCAS ’24, responded that the name change would be publicized on the UGBC Instagram and made clear to various administrators during meetings over the summer.

“Word will get around regarding that, and I even think that by publicizing this name change, it could bring even further publicity to our body,” Kotzen said.

Kotzen added that the name “Senate” would be more representative of the group’s role in passing UGBC legislation.

“I think it’s also easier for the everyday student to understand that versus ‘Student Assembly,’ as well as the everyday administrator, personally speaking,” Kotzen said.

The SA also unanimously passed two other resolutions.

Katie Garrigan, the SA’s Montserrat Coalition representative and MCAS ’25, sponsored a resolution allocating $3,000 of the SA’s remaining budget to the Montserrat Coalition to fund laundry supplies and machine fees for low-income students.

“The amount of money allocated to each student will be on a case-by-case basis with no more than $40 allocated to a student,” the resolution read.

The other resolution—sponsored by Jessica Orrell, SA representative and MCAS ’26—allocated $1,000 of SA’s remaining budget to supply NARCAN, an emergency medication used to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose, to residence hall directors, pending approval from the Office of Residential Life and BC’s administration.

“If this money is not able to be spent on purchasing physical NARCAN, it will be allocated towards funding and publicizing multiple NARCAN training events,” the resolution read.

Prior to the passing of all three resolutions, the SA began its meeting in an executive session—limiting attendance to members of the SA only—to confirm UGBC’s executive team for the 2023–24 academic year.

The executive team confirmations were as follows:

Aidan Seguin, MCAS ’25 – director of the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council 

Yosan Tewelde, MCAS ’24 – director of the AHANA+ Leadership Council 

Heidi Yun, MCAS ’24 – director of the Council for Students with Disabilities 

Julia Tobey, MCAS ’24 – director of the Communications Division

Sahithi Thumuluri, MCAS ’25 – director of the Financial Affairs Division

Anna Quinn, LSEHD ’26 – director of the Student Initiatives Division

Alex Lermond, MCAS ’24 – director of the Division of Environmental Sustainability

During its executive session, the SA also created a seat for a representative for the Division of Environmental Sustainability, appointing Lindsay Meier, MCAS ’26, to the position.

As the meeting came to a close, Spagnola thanked members of the SA for all their work within the past year.

“It’s been an honor to be able to be in this body, and I have a lot of faith in what it can do,” Spagnola said. “So I thank you for this opportunity, and it’s been the greatest honor.”

April 26, 2023