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SGA passes resolutions on library hours, transportation costs, pronoun inclusivity

SGA passes resolutions on library hours, transportation costs, pronoun inclusivity

SGA passes resolutions on library hours, transportation costs, pronoun inclusivity
April 30
10:00 2021

The  Student Government Association closed out its 57th senate session with the passing of resolutions that seek to extend Willis Library’s hours, lower transportation fees and introduce pronouns into UNT Systems.

Willis Library cut back its hours of operation due to COVID-19 when it reopened last July. The library has since extended its hours but is still not back to being open 24 hours as it was before the pandemic.

Casey Jimenez, a College of Health and Public Service senator, said he co-submitted the bill because many students rely on the library.

“Willis Library has been a hot topic this year as students rely on it,” Jimenez said. “Many students still take classes [in] it and post[s] on social media revolve around [the library’s] reduced hours. So, just trying to impact the issue that hits students is a big reason for this legislation.”

Jimenez said one point of contention for him is the transparency of Willis’s administrators and how they make their decisions.

“I don’t think anyone disagrees Willis Library would be better if it was back to 24 hours, but within the parameters of the pandemic,” Jimenez said. “Recommendations from health officials are necessary. If Willis Library is still limited because of health advice, we would like to know. They have not said anything yet and that’s what we’d like to know through regular updates.”

The resolution notes lowering COVID-19 cases and previous safety measures by the library like sheets of plexiglass at service desks, restricted seating and providing disposable masks and hand sanitizer.

Another resolution, signed by CLASS senators Grant Johnson and Maria Lawson, aimed to reduce transportation costs. Johnson, who is the sergent-at-arms of the senate, said he and Lawson have been working to pass legislation regarding this since December.

“We have been in numerous discussions with the heads of the transportation department,” Johnson said. “Even though this piece of legislation came out after the announcement of the transportation policy for parking and other stuff. That piece of legislation is for the sole purpose of ceremonial reasons to show that the student representatives of the SGA Senate fully support any and all policies that help give our fellow students better financial ease.”

The motion’s justification cites financial costs brought on by tuition and the pandemic and concerns over on-campus stalking and violence.

Among the resolution’s supporters is President-elect Devon Skinner, who said he was glad to see the Senate address the issue.

“Transportation concerns have always been an issue many UNT students face,” Skinner said. “I think there need to be more conversations and policy development on the transportation side of things, but these steps which transportation has committed to are going to move us in the right direction.”

Johnson and Lawson also submitted a motion calling for the university’s Enterprise Information System to add options for preferred pronouns when creating accounts and ID cards.

SGA held discussions with the Pride Alliance as to how to implement progressive ideas regarding the LGBTQ+ community, according to Johnson.

“I hope that this bill would help get the ball rolling for next school semester to where we can really push the envelope on future policies that need to be [addressed] to help the LGBTQIA+ community,” Johnson said. “Now we all know that college can be stressful enough without having any other stressful situations outside our own lives.”

Skinner was in agreement with Johnson and said, “pronouns should be respected and recognized through the UNT system.”

“This is one of a number of areas where we could do better in properly identifying who we are and our identity,” Skinner said.

Featured Image: The campus SGA office is located in the university Union room 344. Image by John Anderson

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Will Tarpley

Will Tarpley

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