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Campus governments seek collaboration as semester begins

Campus governments seek collaboration as semester begins

Student body president Adam Alattry takes notes during a meeting discussing extending dining hours at West Hall with mechanical engineer senior Tom Luepke on Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Dylan Nadwodny | Intern Photographer

Campus governments seek collaboration as semester begins
August 27
23:10 2015

Sarah Lagro | Staff Writer

@Lagroski

As the semester gets going, campus governing bodies for students, faculty and staff will convene to plan and legislate around issues throughout the university community.

The campus governing bodies each represent their respective population on campus, whether it be undergraduates, graduate students, faculty or staff.

Student Government Association held its first meeting of the semester Wednesday, when SGA president Adam Alattry explained his plan to dissolve the House of Representatives with the idea of a referendum to do so.

The House is made up of students who each represent organizations around campus. Alattry said a new executive position, director of campus outreach, fulfills that utility, so the House is no longer needed.

It was the first meeting of fall 2015, but SGA has been active throughout the summer, meeting with student governments across the state. SGA vice president Christopher Lee visited Rice and the University of Houston over the Fourth of July holiday weekend to plan with those respective student governing bodies.

“We want to start reaching out because some of us are fighting the same battles,” Lee said. “We’re interested in conversation and possible collaborations.”

Graduate Student Council has too stayed busy over the summer, holding an information session in July to explain changes to students’ health coverage and to provide an opportunity for graduate students to ask questions.

GSC president Jesus Valero said the council succeeded in doubling the printing credit allotment for graduate students after several meetings with university administrators, and garnering support from the Toulouse Graduate School.

Broadcast journalism junior and SGA director of campus outreach Mikayla Barnes looks at a calendar as she plans events for the upcoming fall semester on Wednesday, August 27, 2015. Dylan Nadwodny | Intern Photographer

Broadcast journalism junior and SGA director of campus outreach Mikayla Barnes looks at a calendar as she plans events for the upcoming fall semester on Wednesday, August 27, 2015. Dylan Nadwodny | Intern Photographer

Other campus fees included SGA’s Eagle’s Nest Funding, a way for student organizations to receive additional funding upon committee approval. Alattry said it’s apart of SGA-wide effort to increase outreach on campus.

GSC and SGA have held successful meetings following GSC’s split from SGA in April.

“We are currently reviewing our governing documents in order to reflect our new status as a student government at UNT,” Valero said. “We are working closely with the Student Government Association as we restructure our student governments.”

Both governing bodies acknowledge there will issues when both undergraduate and graduate students are affected. Valero said during those circumstances, collaboration will be key and that GSC is committed to working with the SGA to ensure problems are solved.

Elsewhere, the Faculty Senate, which is the governing body that connects faculty members with administrators, will conduct its first meeting Wednesday, September 9.

“We are a governing body that presents issues of concern,” Faculty Senate Chair James Conover said. “The university runs according to policy and we’re here to make sure that nobody gets stepped on.”

Conover is returning as Chairman and Guido Verbeck as Vice Chairman for the second year. The senate meetings are open to the campus community and are held from 2 to 4 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month in Wooten Hall 322. Conover said the senate wants people to show up and hear about staff and university concerns.

“The colleges and departments need to do what’s best for them and we all focus on the issues common to all of us each month,” Conover said.

The campus governments will be active all semester to advocate the interests for students and staff alike. Alattry said building relationships with everyone is important.

“We are all in this together and listening to what the students want is our goal.”

Featured Image: Student body president Adam Alattry takes notes during a meeting on extending dining hours at West Hall with mechanical engineer senior Tom Luepke on Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Dylan Nadwodny | Intern Photographer

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