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Volume 70, Issue 77, Tuesday, January 25, 2005

News

Shuttles, fee bills highlight SGA concerns

Quintanilla calls for more committee involvement

By Tina Marie Macias
Senior Staff Writer

The Student Government Association plans to spend this semester monitoring projects established last semester and evaluating academic fees.

In the fall, the SGA was heavily involved with preparation for the construction of a parking garage in part of Parking Lot 1A.

"We're monitoring to make sure the administration is doing everything possible to allow students to park in other locations and not be too badly (affected)," SGA President Jon Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla said he wants to work more with the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee to improve shuttle service and surface parking to help students inconvenienced by the construction of the parking garage.

"We want to look into the different routes -- is each one of them meeting the target population?" Quintanilla said.

The SGA will also work with the Tuition and Fees Committee that will begin to meet this semester.

"We need to make sure the student influences are definitely understood and heard on those committees," Quintanilla said. 

This committee will decide how much in tuition and fees students will pay next year.

"That's really important because those students go in there and say, ‘We can have an increase, but we have to make sure it's going to be justified. What's it going to be spent toward? What do we need, what don't we need?'" Quintanilla said.

The Academic Fee Committee is another important committee the SGA will be dealing with. They decide what academic fees will be attached to fee bills, such as lab fees.

"That's going to be a really big portion of what we want to do this semester, because a lot of students are feeling that tuition is increasing, fees are increasing, and they don't have a voice in this," Quintanilla said. "So being able to able to sit there and talk directly with people who increase these fees, and be a part of that -- that's going to be really big for us this semester."

The SGA also wants to work on new projects including lighting intramural sports fields, increasing the Student Service Fee cap from $150 and putting atomic clocks in classrooms.

Among projects from last semester that need follow-up are improving campus security and working on a policy for a smoking ban affecting entrances to campus buildings.

"There has to be some part of administrative push that says ‘We're going to enforce this (smoking ban),'" Quintanilla said. "And although we've put it into a bill, we always understood it would be hard to enforce."

The Senate's first meeting will be 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the UC Underground's Mediterranean Room.

The Senate will vote on a bill to change the current grading system, and remove plusses and minuses calculated in grade point averages.

The SGA is also seeking students to fill open positions in the Senate. They include two Education senators and one from The Honors College, the Law Center, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Pharmacy, Optometry and Social Work.

For information on the open positions, call Speaker of the Senate Bobby Warren at (713) 743-5231.
 

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