Hi 92 / Lo 76
|Volume 68, Issue 1, Monday,
August 26, 2002
SGA plans to instill new traditions
By Ray Hafner
UH's Student Government Association president and vice president say
they are eager to clean up SGA's image and continue working to meet
Dawona Miller, John Quintanilla and the SGA senate tackled a host of projects during the summer and are planning for many more in the fall.
The pair, friends since middle school, served on the student council
at John H. Reagan High School in Austin, where Quintanilla was president
Miller and Quintanilla are taking over for former President James Robertson
and Vice President Brandon Butler, whose administration was
"Along with the good (Robertson) did, he also did a lot of bad to the reputation of this organization," Quintanilla said.
The first step in cleaning up that reputation, Quintanilla said, was the reform of the SGA Election Code.
Miller and Quintanilla's Student Voice Party won a landslide election
victory last Spring, getting 77 percent of the vote, but soon became bogged
To insure that a scandal does not occur again, and more importantly,
because future funding is tied to the reform, SGA has been determined to
The pair created a commission to study the Election Code. Members included
Dean of Students William Munson and Vice President for Student
"In the past, the president has had way too much power (in appointing
the election commissioner)," Quintanilla said. To combat this, the
Other changes include the following:
• A fourth commissioner to serve as alternate.
• The keeping of election journals to promote "accountability and responsibility."
• More specific definitions in campaign laws.
• Implementing Internet voting.
Another major project of the summer has been returning a live cougar to campus: a project very important to Miller.
"We want to compare ourselves to these other Tier I universities (like
the University of Texas and Texas A&M University) in every aspect,"
While stressing that nothing is confirmed, Miller outlined a plan she's
been developing that includes housing the new Shasta at the Houston
The SGA senate is currently calculating the costs of such a plan.
One major accomplishment this year was the passing of the "Q" bill in
June. This bill allows students to drop a course near the end of a
Quintanilla said there were "no major roadblocks. It's going to happen."
Another bill offered up by Speaker of the Senate Jeff Hill would allow
grade replacement. This allows a student to retake a course and have only
The delivery of some campaign promises is imminent. The construction
of brighter lights in all parking lots will soon be finished. Also, 12
Senate opposition to administration ideas has been surprisingly strong.
The Student Voice Party won all but four seats in the senate, making
But in response to their first presentation to the senate, Miller and Quintanilla found intense scrutiny from fellow party members.
Miller said she believes the recent controversy has made senators more aware of their responsibility to govern properly.
As they are emphasizing the change from Robertson's tenure, which often
shrouded itself in secrecy, both Miller and Quintanilla have promised
Some of their other plans for this year include raising textbook buyback
rates by mandating that adjunct professors have their reading lists in
The duo hopes that by running a clean government they will increase participation in government and the effectiveness of SGA.
"I would like to rebuild this organization and go forward," Quintanilla said.
If there is a theme to her administration, Miller said it would be "knowing your past so you can move forward in the future."
To contact the
To contact other members