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Northern Essex Community College Student Government Association

Meeting called to order by Vice President of Lawrence, Hannah Benning

Date | Time:10/03/2019 4:00 PM Total Voting Members: 7 Quorum: Yes

Roll Call

Secretary, Chloe Upham conducted the roll call. The following individuals were present:

Executive Board Attendance

  • Vice President of the Lawrence Campus: Hannah Benning
  • Vice President of the Haverhill Campus: Courtney Morin
  • Secretary: Chloe Upham
  • Parliamentarian: Sofia Fedele

General Member(s)

  • Joe Paquin
  • Keyla Santos
  • Scarlette Santos

Non-Voting Board Attendance


Guests In Attendance

  • Advisor: Stephanie Haskell
  • Chair of the Executive Committee: Sheila Muller
  • NECC Early Childhood Education Professor: Jody Carson
  • NECC Instructional Designer: Susan TashJian

The following members were absent:

  • Samantha Cook
  • Mehali Patel
  • Peter Rodriguez


Susan Tashjian & Jody Carson

  1. Tashjian and Carson are members of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Working Group, under the direction of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.
  2. They gave an informational presentation about OER, in order to educate Student Government about their presence on campus and how they help students.
  3. Important points from their presentation:
    1. The OER Working Group was created after William Heineman held student forums, where the biggest complaint was the cost of textbooks. Thus, a “textbook task force” was created. Staff were paid a stipend to switch from commercial textbooks to online textbooks.
    2. The Financial Aid Lending Library is a place where staff and students donate textbooks that students can borrow for a semester.
    3. Carson held a class where students from her first semester were selling back their textbooks instead of keeping them for the second semester, because they needed the money.
    4. They have been encouraging students to use their financial aid money to purchase laptops and tablets at the bookstore, because they can most likely find their textbook for free online.
  4. On October 18th, there will be a meeting with legislators from the Department of Higher Education in TC103A from 10am to 11am. They will be talking about costs of college, innovative projects, professors will be talking about why they switched to OER. Tashjian & Carson are inviting SGA to this meeting, in order to have students’ voices heard

Sheila Muller

  1. Although Sheila had no new announcements to address, she wanted to thank SGA for presenting at the All College Assembly.

Student Forum

Victor Van asked about the bus shuttle situation. He was informed that Samantha is in contact with Mike McCarthy and Deborah Crafts. The shuttle situation is in the process of being resolved.

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes from the 09/26/2019 meeting.

Moved by: Chloe Upham Seconded by: Courtney Morin

Voting results: Unanimous Motion Passes

Minutes for all meetings are posted on Blackboard

Executive Committee Reports: (Briefly State in 1 minute or less)

President: Samantha Cook

  1. ABSENT, Hannah relayed a report from Samantha:
  2. Samantha is looking into how to enhance our meetings when it comes to sound quality in the video conferencing.
  3. The mental health training registration was full, so she is making a waitlist for SGA members.
  4. Many faculty members have reached out and congratulated SGA on our presence on campus.
  5. Although Samantha was absent at this meeting, she wished everyone luck with elections.

Vice President of the Haverhill Campus: Courtney Morin

  1. Courtney is working on the All Club Assembly. She will be making a document in Teams for SGA members to add any ideas or opinions that they have.
  2. Vice President of the Lawrence Campus: Hannah Benning
  3. 1. Hannah has been in contact with Beth Donovan about the student lounge on the Lawrence campus.

Treasurer: Mehali Patel

  1. ABSENT, Hannah relayed a report from Mehali
  2. Mehali met with Stephanie Haskell and will bring a report about that meeting to next week’s SGA meeting on 10/10/19.
  3. She will be making a group chat for the finance committee.
  4. She asks that anyone who has ideas for what SGA might spend money on this entire school year, to send an email to her by Monday, October 7th, so they can finalize the budget for the entire school year.

Secretary: Chloe Upham

  1. Chloe is in the process of communicating with Allison Gouveia regarding SGA’s hazing form.

Programming Chair


Marketing Chair


Parliamentarian Sofia Fedele

  1. Sofia missed the constitution committee meeting this week, but she checked Teams to see what they did.
  2. She also attended the U-Knighted Fair and said that it went well.

Tabled Business

  1. Hispanic Heritage Month

    1. Rosiellis Herrera Berroa and Abbey Tannatt have been working on creating and putting up fliers on campus.
    2. Rosielis has been posting fliers in the women’s bathroom, and needs a boy to post fliers in the men’s bathroom. Joe volunteers to help with that task.
    3. Hispanic Heritage Month ends on October 15th.
    4. All of the events that the college is hosting during Hispanic Heritage Month can be found on the NECC Newsroom website.
  2. Constitution Committee

    1. At their latest meeting, the committee discussed the extent to which Early College students can be Executive Board members.
    2. The committee is also looking into working with Academic Affairs regarding communication. They are questioning if they can ask Academic Affairs to run any changes regarding student programs through SGA before the changes are implemented.
    3. It was discussed that SGA may benefit from a separate committee concerning Robert’s Rules.
    4. Their upcoming meeting will be on Tuesday, October 8th, from 12:30pm-1:30pm.
  3. Finance Committee

    1. Whoever signed up for the committee will be added to a group chat, by Mehali, in the near future.
    2. Abbey Tannatt found budget request forms, and asked who they would go to. It was clarified that SGA goes to Allison Gouveia with any questions regarding the budget.
  4. Executive Board Meetings

    1. A reminder was given to all members that Executive Board meetings are for E-board members to discuss issues and complete projects or tasks. General members can sit in on E-board meetings, but may not partake in discussion, in order for E-board members to stay on track and focused.
    2. General members are welcome to email E-board members ahead of time with anything you would like to bring to their attention, so that they may discuss it at their meeting.
    3. Although the SGA Constitution does not say that students cannot sit in on E-board meetings, SGA is allowed to put up signs that indicate whether or not the office is open for students to come in.
    4. E-board meetings will be on Mondays from 12:30-1:30pm in the SGA office in both Haverhill and Lawrence.
  5. Class Compensation

    1. Class compensation was tabled to the next meeting.
  6. October Fundraising

    1. Hannah will be helping Tiffany with ideas for decorating the offices for Halloween. She wants to create a list of decorations to keep for both offices.
    2. Courtney asked if there was a timeline to figure out a budget for the decorations so that we can vote on the list. Hannah responded that she wants the list finalized by Tuesday, October 8th. She asked SGA members to send her a list of decorations they would want for both the Haverhill and Lawrence SGA offices.
    3. If SGA members have any Halloween decorations at home, they are welcome to bring them in.
    4. Hannah will send out a list of Halloween fundraising ideas on 10/3/19 to the group chat, so that everyone can vote on which activity they would like to do.
    5. On October 21st on the Lawrence campus and on October 22nd in the Student Center, both days 9:00am-2:00pm, Hannah and Tiffany will be decorating the knight’s nook areas.
  7. Student Lounge

    1. Mehali informed Hannah that $1,062 transferred over from the 2019 spring semester to the current fall semester, for SGA to spend on the student lounge.
    2. Abbey questioned that SGA had initially put aside $2,000, but Stephanie informed SGA that only
    3. $1,062 transferred because that is what is listed in the college’s books.
    4. Stephanie met with Dr. Mezquita, who suggested that SGA takes into consideration that the student lounge is directly next to the library. Thus, SGA will need to consider how loud the games are. For example, if SGA were to consider purchasing a foosball game, that Dr. Mezquita would be willing to work with SGA to find a place to put it, besides the student lounge.
    5. Stephanie suggested that Courtney reach out to all faculty and staff on the Haverhill campus and Hannah reach out to all faculty and staff on the Lawrence campus to see if there are any board games that they would want to donate to the student lounge.
  8. Advocacy Day

    1. Reminder for SGA members: Advocacy Day is October 23rd.
    2. Advocacy day is when community college around Massachusetts meet at the state house and talk with corresponding legislators about bills that are affecting community college students. They also discuss how to push forward with legislation.
    3. Sofia questioned if SGA members could get an excused absence from class for Advocacy day, but Joe suggested talking with the professor first.
    4. Courtney will send a link to everyone in the group message to register

New Business

  1. Knights Night Appreciation

    1. Hannah is looking into dates and costs for holding a Knights Night Appreciation event.
    2. She is also wondering how often SGA would want to hold this event.
  2. Food Update

    1. At the U-Knighted fair, Hannah talked to Allison Gagne about the Newbury Cafe test run for night students. Gagne said that no one came to the test runs because students did not know about it
    2. Sheila commented that all students are used to the fact that there is no food on campus after 2:30pm, so they would need to massively advertise the Newbury Cafe hours to students so that everyone knows about it, before they perform another test run.
    3. Courtney asked Hannah to CC her in future emails regarding this matter.
  3. Public Safety

    1. Public Safety reported in Haverhill that a man snuck narcotics into a female’s drink at around 4:00pm on September 30th. Last semester’s Student Government had a lengthy discussion regarding Public Safety, specifically on the Haverhill campus
    2. On Monday, October 7th, from 2:00pm-4:00pm on the Haverhill campus in A112, the Student Affairs Committee will be talking about the Public Safety shuttle buses.
    3. Public Safety officers at NECC do not go through security guard training, so they are not equipped for serious situations. If there is a serious situation they will call local police. In the future, SGA will be further discussing the role of Public Safety.
    4. Hannah will be compiling a list of questions for Deborah Crafts.

Special Elections

  1. The special elections were conducted by Joe Paquin.
  2. Students running for positions introduced themselves:
    1. Victor Van is a first semester student at NECC. He graduated from Central Catholic High School and is now studying Biochemistry and Physics. Victor wants students to interact and communicate more with each other. He is running for the Programming Chair of Haverhill.
    2. Jonathan Britez was introduced to Student Government by both Samantha and Rosielis. Although he was not sure what the position entails, he believes that he can make a difference on campus and help students interact with each other. He is looking to start either a club or forum where students can get help with communication skills. He is running for Member at Large.
    3. Scarlette Santos is in her first year at NECC and is a Criminal Justice major. She has previous experience with Student Government from high school. She wants to learn how SGA works here and has lots of ideas for events. She is running for the Programming Chair of Lawrence
  3. Discussion and Voting
    1. The running candidates were asked to step out of the room while SGA members discussed amongst themselves and filled out the ballots. Courtney reminded SGA members that they do not have to vote for someone just because they’re the only one running in that position.
    2. Joe passed out ballots for all official members to fill out.
    3. The candidates were brought back into the room and informed that the Executive Board members will tally the results at their E-board meeting, and the candidates will be contacted via email regarding their positions.

Advisors Report

  1. She received praise from faculty and Student Government regarding all their work on campus.
  2. Reminder that the U-Knighted fair is Wednesday, October 9th from 11:00am-1:30pm on the Lawrence campus.
  3. She is in contact with Kirsten Morrow, the SGA advisor at Middlesex Community College. She is looking into both Student Government Associations potentially collaborating in the future.
  4. There is more information coming soon regarding the CCSLA, an overnight professional development for students from community colleges.
  5. Stephanie would like to set up two on one meetings with all SGA members.
  6. She met up with Samantha to talk about the September evaluation forms and came up with ideas to discuss.
  7. Student Life is branching out to have a Blackboard page. Additionally, SGA still has an old Senate page that they can potentially use. On Monday, it will be discussed who is the best person who can help organize and set that up.
  8. The Yoga event held on the Lawrence campus in the student lounge had no students show up, even though there were fliers posted. Stephanie is concerned that no one knows where the student lounge is. SGA should look into posting a sign for the student lounge.
  9. On October 10th Mike McCarthy is holding a forum for faculty and staff. It is still in question whether or not students will be able to sit in on this forum, or if there will be a future forum for students.

Trustee Report

  1. Courtney attended the trustee meeting on October 2nd. She will share the agenda on Teams, as well as compile her notes from that meeting and post them as well.
  2. Additionally, she will be uploading the minutes from the September meeting and post it into Teams.
  3. She gave a last call for the Student Advisory Council (SAC) on October 4th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Framingham State University. So far, Courtney, Joe, and Samantha will be attending.


  1. U-Knighted Fair:
    1. October 9th, 11:00am – 1:30pm, Lawrence Campus Outside of Dimitry, rain location inside Dimitry
  2. Best Buddies is looking for a student to escort a student, who is blind, around campus and to take notes. They would prefer to have a student who is in a leadership position. However, the student in this position does not have to be part of the work study program.

Next Meeting / Adjournment

The next SGA meeting will be on Thursday, October 10th at 4:00 P.M. in Haverhill, SC 106 & in Lawrence in Dimitry 143.

Motion to adjourn was made at 5:45 PM by Joe Paquin and passed 7-0 in favor.

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