Student Government made the decision not to join the Texas Student Transportation Infrastructure Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition that supports the Texas Central Railway project at their meeting on Feb. 3. Project leaders plan to build a high-speed railway system connecting the DFW metroplex to the Houston area.
The coalition wishes to gain student approval from universities in Texas. Drew Carson, a senator from Sam Houston State University, met with SG over video chat to propose that UTD should be the first school from the UT System to join this alliance.
“They already have three schools in the student alliance and they want UT Dallas to be the next one,” said SG Vice President Nancy Fairbank. “However, our Senate does not feel like we are tasked with having a firm position on projects that take place outside the scope of the university and outside the scope of our students. We prefer to focus on the direct needs of our students as they currently stand and we also don’t believe in supporting private companies specifically.”
Bob Fishbein, assistant vice president of Auxiliary Services, also discussed the expansion of new food venues on campus including an IHOP Express that will be open until 1 a.m. that is scheduled to open in April. The school also plans to transform the dining hall next to the Student Union into a food court that will provide a larger Chick-fil-A, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Tomatoe and a Panda Express. A Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor will then replace the current Chick-fil-A in the Comet Cafe. Fishbein said the plan is to finish construction on these projects during the summer before students come back for classes.
Fairbank also brought up two proposals for discussion, one for the expansion on the drink limit in the Pub and one about introducing “Bring Your Own Beer” tailgates. These proposals are still in their draft forms.
SG proposed that the Pub change their alcohol policy so that students that are of drinking age can purchase up to two alcoholic beverages between 5-8 p.m. and one drink each subsequent hour. Students are not allowed to purchase more than four alcoholic beverages in one evening, Fairbank said.
Fairbank said students could only get two drinks between 5 and 8 p.m. because administration was concerned about students drinking before evening classes.
Another proposal discussed was introducing BYOB tailgates. Currently, UTD only hosts one main tailgate where beer is provided by the Student Affairs department. For future tailgates, SG suggested that the athletic department, spirit programs and SG be allowed to sponsor BYOB tailgates in designated parking lots on campus.
If any student organizations wish to host their own tailgate, they would have to ask permission from these departments, fill out a form that would need be approved by the Office of the President, reserve a space in the parking lot, and inform the campus police at least one week in advance.
Technology Committee Chair Charlie Hannigan announced that his committee is updating the campus map for it to be more legible, adding foot openers to bathroom doors, and attaching table outlets to electrical power so they can be useful for students around campus. He also said that more blue phones and security cameras will be placed on campus to ensure the safety of the students.
$200 were allocated for the Senators Club reward card prizes and $50 were allocated for the promotion of SG events.
The next SG meeting will be held on Feb. 17 at 5:15 p.m. in the Galaxy Rooms in the Student Union.