USG Board of Trustees holds first meeting of 2023

Jhenna Gamache

Hosted in the MUB Ballroom B on Friday, Feb. 24 from 9-11 a.m., the Board of Trustees held their first meeting of the year. During this meeting, the committee heard from both students and faculty. Among these speakers was Cheyenne Scott, the president of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). She provided an update on current issues within the organization, including the reinstatement of the Fall Break for next semester. 

The meeting was called to order by chair member Jeffery Littmann. Both Jeffrerey Littmann and University President Dr. Richard Koubek gave opening remarks to start the meeting. The committee heard from Julie Seppala, the treasurer, on the resolution to approve 2024 Room and Board rates for students and the approval for new lines of credit. 

Dr. Robert Nemiroff, a physics professor, then provided a faculty report. He stumped the room when he asked “Can scissors move faster than the speed of light?” Surprisingly, the answer was yes, assuming the scissors are guillotine blades. 

Following Dr. Nemiroff, Cheyenne Scott presented to the committee notable updates within USG. This semester USG has received 13 requests for opportunity funds. The organization has also had 187 ten-minute hearings with 40 different student organizations on campus. Lastly, after previous failed efforts made by USG to reinstate the Fall Break, a two-day recess during the eighth week of the fall semester has been approved. 

The committee then heard from Ranit Karmakar, the president of the Graduate Student Government. Karmakar recounted the huge success of the organization’s Cross Country Skiing outing. He said the event was a huge success and that the spots filled up within seven minutes of sending out the sign-up sheet. Karmakar also highlighted the success of the Hancock Shuttle. The shuttle’s start date was Jan. 30, 2023. It runs three shifts five days a week for students with a valid Tech ID. Lastly, Karmakar announced that their Career Enrichment travel grants for students have increased from $250 to $500 for travel within the US. 

The meeting was brought to a close with a statement from Michael Mullins, the president of the University Senate. Mullins spoke about the recent tragedy at Michigan State University. Mullins expressed deep sorrow regarding the horrific shooting where three students lost their lives. He said that “Michigan Tech stands in solidarity with Michigan State”. He explained that this unthinkable event has sparked conversation at Michigan tech saying “We cannot pretend it cannot happen here.” He also said that the University Senate is having conversations about the necessary safety measures that should be installed to keep students and faculty safe going forward.