SA president plans to politick with regents

by Liz Carter

Daily Cougar Staff

At the last Students' Association Senate meeting of the spring semester, SA President John Moore encouraged senators to attend the April 25 University of Houston System Board of Regents meeting.

Moore and Student Regent Natalie Merritt said they will both attend the meeting which begins at 8 a.m. today in the University Hilton's Shamrock Room.

"This will be my first," Merritt said. "I'll be there at 7:30 a.m. I'll be listening."

Traditionally, it is the student regent's responsibility to act as the SA representative at all board meetings. But, Thasunda Brown, Merritt's predecessor, never attended a Board of Regents meeting or an SA meeting.

Merritt said she did not have a prepared speech but hopes to address the regents about SA's interest in financial aid.

Financial aid is an important issue for SA this semester, she said. Senators want to get federal aid budgets back to their 1995 fiscal year level.

Merritt said she plans to take full advantage of her speaking privileges at board meetings.

"There is a clause in the (SA) constitution that says the Student Regent gets full speaking rights," she said.

Moore said, "I'm making it a requirement (to attend every board meeting) for myself," he said.

In Moore's allotted three-minute speech to the board, he plans to recommend and show SA's support for the GUF increase and the proposed multi-functional OneCard.

"I will be stressing the students' support for the OneCard," he said. "The benefits of the OneCard will outweigh its initial costs." According to a university OneCard committee, the cost of creating a system to run the services available on the card could be substantial.

Moore said the SA supports the OneCard because the students have made it clear on SA surveys that they want a OneCard.

SA Senate Speaker Jon Erickson ended Wednesday's meeting by assigning senators to five standing committees. Experienced senators were assigned chair positions.

The Senate failed to introduce or pass any legislation in Wednesday's meeting, but SA Vice President Kay To did suggest that senators pass a resolution banning chewing tobacco in SA meetings.

No comment will be made by Moore or Merritt on the chancellor/president candidates, Moore said.

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