UMass Dartmouth students have a voice at their university—and in the changes they'd like to see. Offered at the end of each semester, "Shake the Ship" is an open forum that brings together students and administrators.
This spring's Shake The Ship will be held Wednesday, April 6, 5-7:30pm in the Library Living Room.
Introduced in spring 2014, Shake The Ship is sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA). It's an opportunity for students to dialogue with university administrators on topics that can include academics, housing, transportation, dining services, and many other student interests.
A social will follow the event, where students can meet their Student Senators and campus officials.
Where student voices can be heard
"Shake The Ship is where the students can truly be heard," said Tayla Vincent, president of the Student Government Association. "The student senators, as representatives of the student body, meet each week and discuss the changes we think the campus needs, but we need all students to come out and make their voices heard."
Shake The Ship's nautical reference is a nod to UMass Dartmouth's mascot, Arnie the Corsair. Appropriately, a corsair describes not only a pirate but also anyone who's on a course or journey, as all university students are.
Working together to improve our campus
"Shake the Ship is just the beginning of the conversation," Sofia Reppucci, SGA's corresponding secretary. "We then look into each topic and evaluate what to do next. The impact is huge—it really emphasizes the saying your voice matters.
"I can't stress its importance enough. It's a time when the student government comes together with the administration and student body to discuss issues and work as one to improve our campus."
At last fall's Shake The Ship, topics included course offerings, financial aid, meal plan options, campus improvements, safety, housing, commuter issues, transportation, technology, and services.
Since then, there have been a number of actions and updates. For example, following an assessment of campus dining services, new meal plan options will be introduced, and there is improved labeling for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. To help students plan to fulfill requirements, the College of Arts & Sciences will request departments to publish two-year course schedules. The SGA's facilities subcommittee is organizing a second exterior lighting walk-through for the spring, to assess existing lighting and prioritize requested new lighting. Public Safety has formed an advisory board for community input, and has modified its descriptors of suspects when issuing community warnings.
Current student senators
Current student senators, listed by the areas they represent:
College of Arts & Science: Charlens Beneche, Will Cook Warren, Kevin Delaney, Barbara Okafor, Bryan Saint Louis, Lucy Semexant, Tanecia Weaver
Charlton College of Business: Deborah Salami, Tayla Vincent, Dylan Mullane, Kairo Nathan, Ted Manuel
College of Engineering: Tianna Edwards, Rachelle Edouarzin
College of Nursing: Shereen Cruz
Residents: Dominic Roy
Class of 2016: Nolan Fraine, Chris Laporte, Luis Serrano
Class of 2017: Ryan Kelley, Carlos Palacio, Sofia Reppucci
Class of 2018: Emike Momodu, Brian Towne, Charlemya Erasme
Class of 2019: Jay Dahlstrom, Ronah Magembe, Samantha Reid