Student Government Round Table Sheds Light on Upcoming Changes

todayOctober 1, 2015 6

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Taylor Zavala
News Director

student government round table
Photo by Malik Mingo

The Texas State University Student Government hosted a round table event Monday, September 28. The event is a Student Government staple, where annually the Student Government invites a variety of faculty, and administrators to sit at individual round tables and speak one on one with Texas State University students. President Denise Trauth was in attendance, along with a variety of department heads ranging from Dean of Students Margarita Arellano, Chief of UPD Ralph Meyer, and Vice President of Student Affairs Joanne Smith.

Texas State University Student Body President Lauren Stotler helped lead the event. Lauren believes the goal of round tables, coordinated by the Student Government, should be to help provide transparency between the student body and administrators and help keep students informed saying “Round Tables really the opportunity for administration to be transparent with students. It’s a good way for students to go directly to who they have a question for, ask that question and get some clarification on some points they might have questions on, so I think it’s a really good event. We had a pretty good turnout on Monday, we had a few students who weren’t from Student Government, that’s always our goal. Because while we love having our members there, we really encourage other students to go because they’re not always as in the loop as we are with that kind of thing. So having them sit in front of people that they’d like to meet and ask questions. That’s really our goal.”

Also in attendance was Assistant Director of Parking Services, Steven Prentice. Among the questions Prentice was asked by attendees, one point he validated while explaining what goes into setting prices for parking permits, was that parking services simply follows the rules set by the University. “We don’t make the rules. We don’t build the garages. We don’t tell you how much to pay for a permit. Everything we do, that’s the way we’re asked to do it. We’re sorry we’re doing our job, and we’re sorry we’re writing tickets, based on the University’s rules and regulations. And you’re paying a permit fee, that has gone through ASG, it’s gone through residential life and housing association, it’s gone through transportation and services advisory council, it’s gone through faculty senate, it’s gone through staff council, everybody has spoken, debated and after looking at the budget, decided and agreed with it, that is the price it would cost, for us to function.”

Stuydent government round table
Photo by Malik Mingo

Prentice also wants students to understand that within the budget Parking Services uses throughout the year, it can be extremely costly to build, maintain and operate parking garages.

Also in attendance was Director of the Student Health Center, Dr. Emelio Carranco Jr., who was able to talk about a hopeful expansion of the Student Health Center, that relies on the Ten Year Master Plan saying  “we are on the campus master plan for the next ten years, which means we’re gonna have an opportunity to expand. What we want to do in an expansion is add more doctors and nurses, but we also want to add physical therapy, nutrition services, and counseling services. So in an expansion, we would want to broaden our, so we’re just lacking a few services. We’re just very cramped and we can’t provide good healthcare like this. In order to do an expansion, we’re going to need the support of the students to increase the medical service fee.”

Carranco also hopes that an increased student fee will contribute greatly to the expansion project saying “We have not increased the medical service fee in 9 years. The University has grown by 10,000 students in those 9 years, but we have not asked for a fee increase, but in order to expand, we need help in paying for the building. So if we ask for a fee increase, it’ll be primarily for that.” The Master Plan currently consists of approximately 75 projects, including the removal of surface parking lots and the adding more green space throughout campus. A prime example of this being the Concho Green project where Bobcat Trail will be replaced with natural environment.

For lingering questions students may have, President Trauth will be meeting with students Thursday, October 8 and Tuesday, November 17 in LBJ Student Center room 3-8.1; and 2-3 p.m. President Trauth will also hold a “Cat Chat” session Friday, October 23 on the 11th floor of the J.C. Kellam Building. More information on the Master Plan can be found here.

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