Suman Sridharan
Staff Writer

Smoking zones, gubernatorial visits and an expansion of library hours were among several issues debated at the first Student Government meeting of the fall semester on Aug. 26. 

A proposal to increase library hours from 18 to 24 hours Monday through Thursday has been in the works, and the senate discussed possible expansion plans.

SG also considered improved marking of smoking and nonsmoking areas so students are better able to identify nonsmoking zones. SG brought a related issue of recategorizing e-cigarettes as tobacco products up for discussion in accordance with the recently updated Texas Health and Safety code. Smoking e-cigarettes will be prohibited indoors in addition to the 30-feet smoking ban around buildings. 

Several whiteboards in the residence halls lacked sufficient adhesives and fell apart as a result. 

“We just thought it would be a really cool thing … welcoming (students) to campus … and the fact that many of them are breakable and defective was very concerning to us,” said SG President Brooke Knudston.

SG has filed a complaint with the supplier to fix the problem, and the boards will either be repaired or the amount reimbursed to the university, Knudston said. 

• Students have complained about the lack of trashcans along Drive A, and the Student Affairs committee proposed that the amount be increased. 

The senate discussed the enforcement of the Comet Creed with Dean of Students Gene Fitch. The creed asks students to aspire to the values of “honor, integrity and service” in all that they do. This creed was initially an honor code approved by both the staff and  the student body, though both administrators and the senate were hesitant to hold students to these values due to enforcement issues.

• The American Heart Association walk will be on Sept. 13 at Reunion Tower. The turnout is expected to be the largest ever with 70,000 participants from SMU, UNT and UT Southwestern, among other schools. Students and staff can register at www.heartwalk.org and sign up for the UT Dallas team. 

• The next SG meeting will be Sept. 9 at 5:15 p.m. in one of the Galaxy Rooms.