Ryan Davidson and I, SGA President and Vice-President for the 2003-2004 year, would like to thank you for a rewarding, though often difficult year. We’ve tried our best to offer strong government, and we wanted to end our term by letting you know where Student Government stands on some issues and projects that are close to your hearts.
We ended the fall semester by approving a cricket field, which should be constructed by next fall. SGA also passed a proposal to extend the hours of the Activities Center. This semester we approved a park for the empty field between the Student Union and the Bookstore. It should be finished in time for next fall.
A committee of students, faculty and staff is almost finished creating an alma mater for UTD – something Student Government has pushed diligently on for the past year as another step to making this a “real” campus!
There have been smaller victories as well – from a glass case to advertise the Student Business Alliance to a box for survey replies in the Waterview Park leasing office. We’ve also increased Student Government’s profile through better marketing, including a biweekly newsletter on the back of This Week at UTD. Student Government has also tried to reach out to students, including doing the first Graduate Outreach Night on March 1. We also received a large amount of student feedback through our March Survey Booth.
SGA has provided starter money for many smaller student projects. We’re buying a laminator and a fax machine for the Student Organization Suite. We are paying for machinery which will allow the Copy Center to accept credit cards. We provided startup capital for the new campus movie theater, Meteor Theater, and helped sponsor the Student Ambassadors’ Oozeball tournament.
The Student Business Alliance is still going strong with 40 local businesses giving discounts to all UTD students on food, auto supplies, haircuts, legal services, and more. We’ve also increased promotion of our other websites – waterviewsux.com, teacherevaluation.com, and the Online Book Exchange, at olbe.studentgov.com.
We still have several multi-year projects, like alcohol in the Pub. You’ll be seeing this project in action as we begin our portion of a community petition drive to change Richardson’s alcohol regulations. Committees are also working on recycling in Waterview, dead days before exams, and changing UTD’s grade scale to make an A+ equal 4.33.
There have also been defeats. A residential dining facility on campus failed when the Senate voted against an unsatisfactory proposal, in which Aramark would conduct focus groups only if freshmen were forced to put a mandatory amount per semester on their Comet Cards for food in the Comet CafÃ©. Another dead project is free DART passes for all students; our request for funding was rejected by the governing agency.
From the little things, like perverts calling the office, to the big, like Dr. Jenifer’s retirement announcement and the tuition increase, it’s never been boring. Thanks for a great year, UTD!