SGA prepares for new community projects
The Student Government Association said at its Wednesday meeting that the SGA Cares Initiative will improve campus and community life and heard a report that the financial aid resolution, passed in September, is making progress.
As part of the SGA Cares Initiative, SGA has partnered with the Metropolitan Volunteer Program to help organize a community service project called "Community Uproar-Rock the Block" in preparation for Homecoming on Nov. 10.
The service is aimed to help clean up the campus’ surrounding streets including Scott Street, Elgin Avenue, Cullen Boulevard and Wheeler Avenue.
"We’re trying to make this one of the biggest service projects at UH," MVP Director Utsavi Shah said.
In addition to the community service project, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Sen. Aleah Al-Sad said the Student Governing Board, the Residence Halls Association and other governing bodies on campus plan to serve meals at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Thanksgiving.
Al-Sad also said SGA Cares plans to write a proposal to transform a neglected pool near the residence halls into a recycling center.
"We can beautify this area, and this can be a project that not only SGA can work on, but other organizations, too," she said.
SGA Vice President Sam Dike reported that the resolution for financial aid passed last month was making progress.
The resolution reads that "20 cents of every dollar raised through the capital campaign be allocated to financial aid for the students on this campus."
Dike said that he and Vice President of University Advancement Michael Rierson agreed to work to double UH’s fundraising for scholarships.
"The University is in agreement that there needs to be a greater emphasis placed on raising money for scholarships," Dike said.
Dike also said SGA representatives plan to meet with administrators within days to "iron out the details" for a student advisory committee for the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid."
SGA President David Rosen said he was looking forward to working with Renu Khator, the sole finalist to become the next UH president.
"It’s going to be interesting to see her standpoint on tuition and fees," Rosen said.
CLASS Dean John Antel spoke at the meeting and said the University’s "Achieving the Dream" partnership between the Lumina Foundation, the Houston Foundation and UH will "work to better motivate and recruit graduate transfer students (at UH)."
The program’s goal is to recruit students to attend UH after completing the first two years of basics at a community college.
"It’s a program (where) we really want to get students to come to UH from community colleges to graduate and have successful careers," Antel said.
Antel said he wished to improve transfer student enrollment, orientation and graduation by having more advisors go to community colleges to encourage students.
"We really want to get students in here, get them advised, put them on the right track," he said.
In other business, SGA Regent Judah Johns also expressed concerns over the University’s limit of six class withdrawals during an undergraduate career.
Johns said the policy is unfair to students who are enlisted in the military or have children. He also said the policy was not advertised well.
"(The policy) literally happened overnight," Johns said.
Johns said if the administration was going to implement the policy. than it needed to be better advertised. After acknowledging that the policy was stated on the provost’s Web site, Johns suggested that the administration place it on the main Web site where students will be able to view it.
"There are always people who don’t know and get screwed," he said.