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Thursday, September 28, 2023


SGA urges mid-term evaluations

Student Government Association graduate senators are ready to continue their work to implement mid-semester teacher evaluations and improve campus safety.

Sen. Manikantesh Bonatham said he will champion the implementation of mid-semester teacher evaluations.

‘Right now, teaching evaluations are done at the end of the semester, which is going to help only the students (who) are going to take the course next year, but not the students who are currently enrolled in the course,’ he said. ‘So, I am going to write a bill to ask the University to set up a task force to look into having the evaluations in the middle of the semester so the students taking the course that semester can benefit.’

Bonatham wants the evaluations to be conducted online to improve accuracy and accelerate results. He wants the evaluations to be more transparent so students can factor in a teacher’s rating when enrolling in classes.

Bonatham said he also wants UH to require students to fill out evaluations when dropping courses, so the administration is aware of the reasons students are dropping the professor’s course.

Also on Bonatham’s agenda are ideas to improve school spirit, such as ‘Red Thursday,’ during which students would wear red to show a campus unified in its school spirit.

Bonatham said students would be more likely to show spirit if the UH Bookstore lowers its prices on Cougar merchandise.

Bonatham said campus safety can be improved by promoting Coog Patrol and by Residential Life and Housing providing a service to take students to and from a grocery store to prevent the need to use Metro.

Sen. Frank Thomas will continue to address safety issues as a leader of Students for Personal Safety.

Thomas said he wants to keep promoting the organization, which offers free self-defense classes and informs students of ways to stay safe.

Thomas said he also wants to continue legislation to clarify code 958.9 of the UH Student Handbook, which states the following items are unacceptable:

‘Possession of a firearm, weapon, dangerous chemicals or any explosive device of any description (including compressed-air guns, pellet guns, BB guns, shotguns or illegal knives) or the ammunition of any firearm or other dangerous weapon or explosive device on University grounds. (A weapon in your vehicle constitutes possession.)’

Thomas said the code is unclear.

‘The code was written in a way that could be interpreted in any number of ways depending on the police,’ he said. ‘We just want to make sure it is written in a way (where) there would be no doubt in the future.’

Thomas said he also wants the bill allowing concealed handguns on college campuses to be passed by the Texas House. An SGA resolution in support of the bill would not affect the legislation, he said.

‘ ‘This is supposed to be a gun-free zone, but we already know it is not with a murder on campus and at least two armed robberies on campus,’ he said. ‘It is obvious if criminals don’t care about committing violent crimes, they won’t care about handgun violation.’

Thomas also said he wants to improve student awareness of SGA by having senators be more involved with campus events and increase senator attendance at athletic events.

He wants to promote student involvement and increase town hall attendance.

‘We tried to do some (town halls) last year, but we need to work on our technique because not a lot of people show up,’ Thomas said.

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