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Volume 68, Issue 46, Tuesday, October 29, 2002


Students get heard at SGA forum

By Ray Hafner
Senior Staff Writer

Students with campus issues had a chance if they were willing to brave the rain, that is to get the Student Government Association on the ball in resolving UH problems Monday during SGA's monthly town hall meeting in the PGH Breezeway.

Problems raised ranged from the parking situation to ramps for disabled students at the UC Satellite. Students used the opportunity to complain, offer suggestions or just find out what SGA has been doing.

"Students don't get told a lot things," said David Baxter, a senior graphic communication major.

Baxter complained to Sen.-At-Large Brandon Donahue.

He cited the delays at the University Center Satellite and the fact that no one was warned that credit cards and Cougar 1Cards would not be accepted during construction.

Baxter said lower-level employees at UH are not well-informed and that these are the people students get their information from, not those higher up.

Inquiries about a grade replacement bill filled the morning session. 

The bill, if enacted, would seek to allow students in core classes to retake a course and count only the higher grade. Many freshmen were in support, but graduate students worried it would affect their past performance.

The other top concern could be summed up in one word: parking.

"That is the hot issue," said College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Sen. David Burkley.

Burkley, who serves on the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee, said, "The University, at this point, will take suggestions from anyone on how to fix the parking problem."

One common student suggestion was to build a parking garage, but the cost of that is prohibitive, Burkley said.

SGA President Dawona Miller compared UH's situation to that of the University of Oklahoma, where students pay $150 for parking and an extra $8 per day if they want to park in the parking garage.

One student recommended to Miller that Lot 1A, near the University Center, should be modified to have one entrance and one exit, helping ease traffic congestion.

Rosalyn Adigun, the College of Pharmacy senator, said she hopes students can help her find a solution to the predicament faced by pharmacy students, who divide their time between UH and the Texas Medical Center. 

In addition to paying for parking at UH, they must pay $4 each day to park at the TMC.

The residence halls are rife with problems, according to students. From slow Internet connections, a limited food selection and fewer services such as housekeeping, SGA hopes to take the information gleaned from students and get some problems fixed.

Burkley said one disabled UH student worried about the ramp at the UC Satellite because while easy to go down, it's steep, which makes going up difficult.

"If you had to push a wheelchair, it's literally impossible," Burkley said.

A professor complained to Sen. Kitawna Walker about the dirtiness of classrooms. 

She said he complained that "there's been chalk dust there since '72."

The SGA constitution requires that a town hall meeting be held every month so students can connect with their representatives. All senators are expected to attend at least part of the meeting, held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"It's basically for us to talk about any problems in individual colleges," said Victoria Gonzalez, SGA director of public relations. Normally, she said, senators get "bombarded" by students, but the rain has hurt turnout.

"There's not really a lot of flow," she said.

CLASS Sen. Ola Kareem passed out fliers with information on how to contact SGA. 

She also handed out complaint forms to be turned back in, asking passersby, "What's wrong?"

SGA hopes students will let them know what is wrong so that they can get to work making it right.

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