Needs of students discussed at Student Government meeting

Maria Ly
Staff Writer

Tonight’s Student Government meeting consisted of many guest speakers and senator reports addressing current, future, and accomplished goals. 

Representatives from Students United came and discussed their plans of getting a fully funded tuition freeze for students, and their plans of improving their campus-wide textbook taskforce to make textbooks more affordable. They are also currently working on getting request forms for students to miss class, such as students who celebrate non-traditional western holidays, so they do not get penalized. 

Vice President Mark Johnson of the university was the next speaker and discussed some projects the school plans to accomplish. He talked about the plans for future changes of the Next Generation System (the school’s student record system, payroll, etc.) to happen in a couple of years down the road. Planning is in place as of right now. 

He also discussed cyber security and how the school is trying to prevent fraud by having students put in their old bank information before adding a different account for their direct deposit. He spoke about the Office 365 migration and how some programs such as Outlook, OneDrive, and Calendar will auto-migrate to the new Microsoft cloud system. 

The last thing Johnson mentions is the student tech fee committee, where students will be given the chance to participate in a six week set of sessions to learn about the university’s IT and technology. After the sessions, students will be given a chance to provide feedback about what fee should be set for technology in upcoming tuitions. He is asking for anyone interested to join the committee. 

At-large senator and Student Affairs coordinator,  Samson Akintan, said they are currently in the process of getting new insurance policy plans for international students for the next school year. The current plan is expected to end this year. A committee was created to work on this issue. Their main goal is to get students an option to choose their own health insurance plans. 

Tina England, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach Specialist, discussed food insecurity and the resources available to students, such as the Campus Cupboard, Echo Food Shelf, Campus Kitchen, etc. She also talked about SNAP and the process of applying and who is eligible. 

The Senate also handed out a packet that answered questions about the Seasonal Sports Bubble on campus that the school is planning on building. In the packet, it discusses questions about the cost, charges to tuition, the benefits, and plans to have an open forum for students to learn more and vote on the referendum around November or December.

Cindy Janney, the Residential Life Director, came and spoke about room and meal plan rates, and what that means and the process of how fees are decided. Senators for Residential Life,  Emma Zellner and Emily Albright, revealed their survey results from student Residential Hall Association representatives, and some of the concerns they have such as: lack of accessibility for handicapped students and lack of streetlights and security blue light posts around campus. 

Senator Abdullah Moin talked about his latest accomplishment of getting more options for Muslim students, specifically halal foods, in the dining hall. However, students must make requests to the chef and the food is typically ready in 30 minutes. Students can call ahead and make requests prior. 

Senator Mohammad Sajal, spoke about the future development of a bus app that allows students to track buses. However, the app is predicted to take a substantial amount of time, and a specific date of when it will be done is not certain. 

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