UMass Speaks for Change

01 Mar

If you had the power to change anything at UMass Amherst, what would it be? This is the question Jackie Chambers and I posed to several students found in the Campus Center and the W.E.B. Dubois Library last Tuesday, just in time for next week’s elections.

Chantel James is a junior biology major who believes that our university should focus on diversifying on-campus housing to in an attempt to bring students together in a tighter knit community. A move such as this would promote cross-cultural interactions for students entering college, which is a critical learning point in their academic careers.

Junior presidential candidate Yevin Roh is campaigning for a student-centric approach that focuses on embracing, not just accepting, cultural diversity across campus. An election article in yesterday’s Daily Collegian quoted Roh saying “I hope to bring about awareness to underrepresented students, and work on student issues to make UMass more affordable, accessible, and accountable to every single student”.

Alex Hindmarsh, a senior majoring in management, wishes the university would provide a more adequate busing system to and from the Mullins Center for athletic events. Southwest is the only residential living area within a ten-minute walk of games while Sylvan, Northeast, Central and Orchard Hill are about a 20-25 minute walk.

Jordyn Schneweiss, a junior majoring in environmental science, feels that the UMass meal plan system should be restructured. Current meal plans do not allow swipes to carry over from one semester to another and each swipe costs $9-$15 depending on whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Schneweiss is happy to hear that junior presidential candidate David Robertson has made it his priority to change the meal plan system if he wins the student vote. The self-proclaimed “Meal Plan Guy” hopes to work with Dining Services to introduce a dining dollars-based system or a roll-over swipe plan.

Students and candidates alike won’t have to wait long to see if their calls for change will be answered. From March 8-10 the Student Government Association will be holding a general election for next year’s President, Student Trustee, and Area Government Officers; presenting ample opportunities for students to get out and vote to see the changes they demand.

Votes can be casted in person at the Campus Center or online through the UMass Campus Pulse SGA page. Don’t know enough about the candidates to place an educated vote? Go to the “SGA President and Student Trustee Debate”, which will be held March 1 from 7-9:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


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