We are a group of undergraduate students who officially represent student voice and the student body to the UMass administration.
We work directly with administrators to influence and change campus policy and decide how to effectively allocate $2 million to Registered Student Organizations (RSOs).
We approve new RSOs and advise students throughout the application process (per semester) and provide emergency funding to RSOs throughout the year.
Why is the SGA Important?
Because of the Wellman Document, which is a legally binding trustee document, we are the official governing body of UMass undergraduate students.
To quickly assess how students view an issue, administrators often look first to the SGA, and because of this, SGA members often have a seat at the decision-making table that other student groups may not receive. We are your representatives!
We also are in charge of allocating funds from the Student Activities Trust Fund, or the SATF. Through the Student Activities fee, roughly $2 million is available each year to fund RSOs, making the SATF one of the clearest and most transparent uses of student money.
The SGA’s job is to serve, represent, and advocate for students. We believe in student voice and in “Students First!”
If you have a project or campaign idea, please let us know!
Connect with your Class Senators or contact Cabinet Members by vistiing our Leadership page.
Additionally, send us your project ideas or leave feedback on the Contact Us page.
"To establish and protect the democratic system for undergraduate university governance; to promote the general welfare of all university undergraduate students. To create and maintain strong lines of communication between students and university administrators; to work toward greater transparency in administrative decisions.
To protect the accessibility and affordability of the university for all students. To work to acknowledge, appreciate, and expand the diversity of the student body, including socioeconomic, racial, religious, cultural, gender, sexual orientation and political characteristics.
To provide leadership opportunities and development for all undergraduate students and to set the standards which other schools strive to uphold when leading their students into the future. "
The legislative branch is made of the Senate, which is comprised of 60 Senators, the Speaker, the Associate Speaker, and the Special Assistants.
The 60 Senators represent the Undergraduate Body at UMass by class year.
The Office of the Speaker: The Speaker and the Associate Speaker lead the Senate. They are elected by the Senators in the spring. The Speaker then appoints Special Assistants to each committee. Each Special Assistant helps the Speaker work with one of the seven Senate committees.
The Senate is responsible for passing resolutions and enactments, allocating the $3.2 million budget, expressing the will of the undergraduate student body on campus
Senators are appointed to one of the listed standing committees. Senators can sit on Faculty Senate or other Administrative Committee such as the Academic Matters Faculty Senate Council or the UMass Police Department Advisory Board.
Students should contact their Senators with any concerns or suggestions they may have.
Any student interested in affecting change on campus should consider running for Senate. Look here and on our Facebook page for updates and notifications on when we are holding elections.
The Executive Branch
The Executive Branch consists of the President, the Vice-President, and their appointed Cabinet.
Every spring, students elect the President and Vice-President by a popular campus-wide online vote. After the elections, the President and Vice-President create an application process that will enable them to hire a well-rounded, engaging, and dedicated Cabinet that serves the many needs of students across campus. Each Cabinet nominee must be confirmed by the SGA Senate.
The President and Vice-President, and various Cabinet members, meet weekly with the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life, the Dean of Students, as well as many other administrators. Both the President and Vice-President also work together to give direction to the Cabinet, who pursue team as well as individual goals and projects.
The Judiciary Branch
The Student Judiciary is comprised of seven Justices; Chief Justice, Associate Chief Justice, and five Associate Justices.
The Chief Justice chairs all meetings of the Student Judiciary; presides over all hearings before the Student Judiciary and writes majority or minority ruling, depending on which side their ruling places them; ensures that all actions of the SGA are consistent with the SGA Constitution, the By-laws of the SGA, and Acts of the Senate; Swear-in the President, the elected Senate body, the Executive Cabinet, the Area Government Officers and the Elections Commission.
The Associate Chief Justice acts as the clerk of the Student Judiciary, by; recording the minutes of all Student Judiciary meetings and Hearings; maintaining accurate attendance records, correspondence of the Student Judiciary with other parties, and the permanent records of the Student Judiciary; act as chief advisor to the Chief Justice on the rules and procedures of the Student Judiciary.
Associate Justices (5) active voting members in meetings of the Student Judiciary and Hearings before the Student Judiciary.
Once a Petition for a Ruling is filed with the Associate Chief Justice, the judicial timeline begins. Briefs, which are outlines of the legal argument and evidence to be presented in the Hearing, are submitted by both parties. The Judiciary reviews the Briefs and familiarizes themselves with the arguments, and the specific By-Laws before the Hearing. At the Hearing, the Judiciary hears oral arguments, presentations of evidence, and questioning of witnesses. They are allowed to interject at any time and ask any party a question. After the Hearing has been adjourned, the Judiciary enters the Deliberative Session. The Deliberative Session is a closed door meeting, exclusive to the members of the Judiciary who were present at the meetings. The Judiciary weighs all arguments and evidence presented in the Hearing, and begins a dialogue on their interpretations of the By-Laws at hand. A vote is called, and unless there is a unanimous decision, the Chief Justice or the ranking member of the majority or the minority will write the ruling. The Majority and Minority Rulings are an in-depth explanation of the evidence that was presented to the Judiciary, and the rationale behind the decision on each side.