President Shalala speaks to SG on the Momentum campaign

The Oct. 22 Student Government [SG] Senate meeting had special speakers President Donna E. Shalala and Vice-President for Student Affairs Dr. Patricia Whitely come in and talk to senators about the different aspects of Momentum, the recently announced billion-dollar campaign for UM.

President Shalala announced that Momentum is focused on generating money for student financial aid, building new undergraduate facilities and expanding residential housing. The Cox Science Center and the UC will be undergoing renovations. The Schools of Communication, Business and Music will be adding new buildings to their complexes. Of the money raised by the campaign, 60 percent will go to the medical school and $68 million will be going to the athletics program.

President Shalala believes that Momentum will work toward raising the University’s ranking, and she is hoping to see results in two years.

President Shalala also announced that by next fall Madelyn Albright and Bill Clinton, along with historians and writers, will be speaking on campus about the presidential campaigns. She is also inviting all of the presidential candidates to be guest speakers.

The floor was opened for questions, where President Shalala addressed the concerns of senators. She mentioned that in the inevitable need to expand, she plans to “conserve green” by building up.

Although undergraduate enrollment numbers are increasing, President Shalala expressed her desire to keep UM’s minority population growing by providing them with more scholarships and better financial award packages.

President Shalala mentioned that along with the growing need for more money to be designated towards student activities, there is also a rising need for more space. She plans to add to the Rathskeller, making it five or six stories high and converting it into the Student Activities Center.

During open forum it was announced that the College of Arts of Sciences has over 4,000 students and will have an increase from three to four senate seats.

Currently two of those seats are open; applications are available in the SG office.

The next order of business was a bill to recommend an extension of the Ibis Ride hours on Oct. 31 to run 7:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. SG showed its support for the project by passing the bill. The $222 cost for the two-hour increase will be covered through SG operational budget.

The session concluded with committee updates.

The Academic Affairs Committee reported they are working with Cabinet to revamp the Freshmen Experience [FEX] program, planning to break it down into the various academic departments where department organizations would be invited to participate. They are also working on an outline for the pre-law track, as well as a pre-law mentoring program.

The Constitutional Review Committee is helping the Supreme Court update the SG constitution.

The Special Events Committee is planning a high school drug awareness program and they are organizing a soup kitchen event for Thanksgiving.

University Affairs reported that the school signed a new 15-year contract with Chartwells and that they are working on extending dining hall hours on Sundays.

Finally, Category 5 announced that on Nov. 5 they will be kicking off a Hurricanes reward program for those who attend the men’s and women’s basketball games, with chances of receiving a free t-shirts, free food and other prizes.

For more information on SG, visit, stop by UC 214, call 305-284-3082 or email

Senate meetings are held every Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. and are open to the public.

Jenny Rodriguez can be contacted at