Staff Council to take on guns
UH’s Staff Council voted to explore a resolution that would oppose guns being brought onto University campus at a meeting on Thursday.
A resolution draft submitted to the council by Committee Chair Rebecca Szwarc would make the council’s opinion on the issue of whether or not guns should be allowed on college campuses known to the public. As a body of UH, the council cannot petition against any specific state legislation, but they can make their views on the issue known to the Texas Legislature.
The council called for a special meeting to be held so that there is time to review the draft before it is sent to Austin.
Last month, the Faculty Senate voted to reaffirm a similar resolution, which it had passed in 2009, in opposition to the proposed handgun legislation that is expected to pass soon.
In other business, Staff Council officer Joe Papick reported that the stadium parking garage will be completed ahead of its projected December 2012 completion date. The garage is expected to be finished in May of 2012 and will open in time for the fall semester.
Papick said overall security has been increased at Moody Towers, with more frequent security officer checks and a revision of protocols for desk and residential assistants.
The increase in security comes after a student living in Moody towers reported being fondled in her dorm late February. A suspect in the case was arrested in early March.
Like the Faculty Senate, the Staff Council is looking to increase the number of awards its members receive from the Center for Measuring University Performance Top American Research Universities.
The CMUP publishes the “Top American Research Universities” annually, and UH ranks in the top 50 in five categories.
Last year the Staff Council received seven awards, more than doubling what they received the year before. Council members are aiming to continue that trend by increasing the number to at least 15.
The Staff Council still isn’t certain about the extent the budget problems at UH will affect their departments.
Approximately 100 staff positions have been terminated over the last three years, and more are expected.
“If you’re going to pay attention to what’s going on in Austin, this is the year to do it,” Staff Council President Carol Barr told the council. “Now is the time to get involved.”