Student Senate general body meeting discusses tuition allocation, resolutions

Members speak up during roll call during a Student Senate general body meeting Oct. 8 in the University Center. The senate met to discuss new and old business. 

Student Senate discussed tuition allocation, introduced two resolutions and amended three at its general body meeting on Tuesday.

A resolution is a document expressing an opinion or a desire for change, according to the Student Government website.

Student body President Gavin Mitchell said every two years the UTA president and student body president seek student feedback on tuition allocation through the tuition review committee. Students from each college and faculty representatives are part of the committee.

The committee's goal is to give recommendations to President Vistasp Karbhari about tuition and the areas of need at the university, Mitchell said.

Areas of need include student support such as the Office for Students with Disabilities, campus security, IT proposal and faculty and staff retention improvement, he said.

Mitchell encouraged the senators to discuss where they believe tuition should go, and he said the discussion would allow him and the committee to see what to prioritize.

Blaize LaFleur, College of Liberal Arts senator, said the university should look into meal plan requirements for on-campus residents.

Students who live on campus should not be required to purchase a meal plan since the cheapest option is more than $3,000, LaFleur said.

“Imagine what a student could do with $3,000 dollars,” she said.

Students who live on campus but have dietary restrictions do not always have food options on campus, LaFleur said. Those students then have to decide between a traditional college experience or having basic necessities.

Resolution “Cut that Expense!” was introduced and calls for the university to not require a meal plan for Lipscomb Hall residents. The resolution was assigned to the community affairs committee for research.

The resolution document states that it is harder for low-income students to obtain a degree because of the cost increase of university dormitories and tuition.

Resolution “Contraceptive Availability” was introduced and calls for the University Center Market to provide emergency contraceptive pills for purchase. The resolution was assigned to the special affairs committee for research.

The resolution document states that Health Services sells emergency contraceptive pills during operating hours only.

Raheel Ahmed, Division of Student Success senator, wrote the resolution and said he wants people to have easier access to emergency contraceptive pills. Ahmed said it is more convenient for students to have the options at the Market.

The resolution “Apartment Lease Clarity” was amended and originally called for University Housing to review and revise its apartment lease agreement while taking into consideration the 85% reletting fee that burdens students, Community Affairs chairperson Philip Sissons said.

Sissons said the committee added a video and a document to the resolution for students to refer to when questions arise about their leases.

Resolution “Styrofoam To-Go Is A No-Go” was amended and originally called for the university to replace styrofoam containers at the Maverick Cafe and the Connection Cafe with reusable to-go containers, Sissons said.

Instead of reusable to-go containers, he said the committee voted on biodegradable containers. The committee emailed UC director David Albart on using this material.

Resolution “UTA is my Home” was amended and originally called for the university to provide temporary housing for students who live in on-campus apartments and are transitioning from move-out and move-in days, said Student Affairs chair Kimberly Hernandez.

Hernandez said the committee expanded the resolution to include all students and off-campus housing options.

Resolution “Who Cut The Cheese?” was halted at the previous Student Senate general body meeting, according to a previous Shorthorn article. The resolution called for the university to research into a new ventilation system at Vandergriff Hall because of the smell of pizza emitted into the building.

Hernandez said the Student Affairs committee decided to reconduct research for the resolution starting Oct. 15 now that Pie Five Pizza Co. has opened.


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