Welfare Committee in its prime and keeping the resolutions rolling


Courtesy/Nick Giamarco

Welfare committee members address issues of basketball courts, cross country trails, and more

Kathryn Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Student Government continues advocacy for campus improvements and student concerns by debating new resolutions on the Senate floor. 

In the last two senate sessions, the Welfare committee has passed five resolutions. The welfare committee is composed of five senators and led by committee chair Cooper Walsh, class of 2023. “Over the years we see an ebb and flow, depending on the concerns there are different times where some committees may be a little more active,” explained SGA Advisor Dr. Alicia Finn. “It’s welfare’s time,” she said.

Two resolutions, one regarding laundry in lowers and another focusing on stairs in uppers, were passed unanimously during a meeting on February 28. Class of 2022 senator TJ Robinson sponsored a resolution for two more washers and two more dryers to be installed in Saint Benedict Court, also known as Lowers. Robinson, a Lowers resident, said “there are laundry hookups for other machines in the laundry room, so at one time there were more available to students.” He explained that he brought the bill forward because he and other residents are frustrated with the current set-up. Given that the hookups are already there, Robinson hopes that will make implementation easier.

A resolution for a handrail to be added to the stairs behind Holy Cross Hall leading towards apartments in Saint Benedict Court was written by Senator Robinson and fellow senator Mac Connors ‘25. Robinson explained that the resolution was prompted by a constituent communicating to SGA members that he or she was concerned about student safety. 

Many of the resolutions in SGA come from students voicing their concerns or SGA members noticing room for improvement at the College. On a site visit to the basketball courts addressed in one resolution, Senator Robinson noticed a gate in need of repair that sparked another resolution by Senator Robinson. Both resolutions were passed on March 7. 

In addition, a resolution by Senator Marcoux to update signage and maps of the cross-country trails was passed. “The resolution calls for updating the map. The current map predates buildings in Uppers, the rugby field, and Sullivan Arena, the only map is from the 80’s” said Marcoux. He noted that the map is unusable also due to the number of trees that have been removed, so the forest itself looks different.

The active passing of resolutions is a positive step, but implementation can be a complex process. It can be discouraging for SGA members when resolutions are not put into action as soon as they would like, or at all. Student body president Richard ‘Rit’ Flandreau ‘22 said, “it takes time, it’s tough from a student perspective wanting it to get done, but patience is a virtue, need to make sure all the bases are covered.”

Communication between students and the many offices involved in different resolutions can be trying. Senator Marcoux explained the challenges of advocating for certain issues while trying not to overstep bounds or offend anyone. “If you push too hard, you walk the line of looking like you’re trying to tell someone else how to do their job,” he said. “Transparency and communication from administration is important,” said Senator Robinson. “There’s so many departments and offices that need to be involved that if lines get crossed the issue can just die.” 

The student body president and vice president, as well as the SGA advisor, are often in closer contact with specific departments than senators themselves. Flandreau said that he and Vice President Kevin Chrisom act as a liaison between SGA members and administration when they ask for assistance. “The resolutions are handed to administration with the signatures of the President and Vice President, so that is who they mainly communicate with,” said Dr. Finn.

Where there could be a disconnect is that once the resolution is passed, it is essentially in the complete control of the respective administration and student senators who sponsor the resolutions do not know the status of the project. Senator Marcoux gave an example of not knowing that a baseball net resolution was going to be implemented until someone sent him a photo of the finished product. “The president and vice president are usually really good about circling back with administration on the progress of resolutions,” said Dr. Finn. 

Another area of improvement could be giving senators different training and guidance regarding how to go about writing a resolution. Senators Robinson and Marcoux agreed that there is a lack of guidance on what avenues to proceed with drafting resolutions or designated offices for certain issues. Dr. Finn stated that usually students do not go to the wrong departments when working on resolutions, but with new types of resolutions dealing with different offices can be a challenge.

Looking forward to changes that could be made to alleviate some of these concerns Dr. Finn suggested evaluating how SGA members are trained, such as what information is presented during the beginning of the year SGA retreat. “I encourage people to ask questions, and to be proactive in work and training,” she continued. 

The College itself is composed of many parts but so is the Student Government Association, which allows for a wide variety of issues to be addressed. “SGA is the voice of students, an arm of student leadership,” said Dr. Finn. “SGA includes people from many backgrounds, it is somewhere where voices can be heard. We can’t answer every single problem but we do our best,” said Flandreau. Both Dr. Finn and Flandreau commended the Welfare Committee and all of the Student Government Association members on their hard work.

“If people have ideas or issues they are concerned about, talk to people in different committees about working towards change,” said Flandreau. The Welfare Committee is not resting on its laurels after five resolutions passed with enthusiasm. Senator Marcoux gave a preview for another resolution by Senator Connors that should be discussed at the next meeting. Up for debate will be a resolution to level out the brick paths, such as the one in front of Goulet, that have been known to have extreme puddles that turn into dangerous ice when the temperature drops.