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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Student Government

Universities unite for green initiative

SGA President Michael Harding met with the student government presidents of several area universities to introduce a plan to reduce the carbon footprint of Houston.

The program would include UH, UH Clear Lake, Rice, Texas State University and Houston Baptist University.

It would involve a month of recycling initiatives, followed by a meet-up event with all of the participating universities.

“The event would be a going green program that would take place on our campuses simultaneously,” Harding said.

“Then we would all re-convene at Discovery Green and announce our numbers; how much we recycled as each campus and how much we recycled as the city of Houston.”

The program will be similar to RecycleMania, a contest that tracks recycling data on college campuses and then ranks the schools according to several categories.

The program would broaden its focus to encompass the Houston area as a whole.

“The goal of the program will be to reduce the city of Houston’s carbon footprint while also raising awareness about recycling at different universities and hopefully within the community,” Harding said.

“We can be activists when it comes to reducing the city’s carbon footprint.”

The universities are aiming for the start of the program to be in the spring semester, with the final event in Discovery Green taking place sometime in February.

Harding said this is hopefully only the beginning.

“We’re hoping to make this an annual event,” said Harding. “Not only making it an annual event, but expanding it as well. We talked a lot about getting other universities involved. All of us are really excited about the potential for this program.”

Additional bills gain approval

The Student Government Association also got several pieces of legislation passed over the summer as well as at the start of the fall, Academic Affairs Committee Chair Mike Nguyen said.

During the summer the SGA passed the Academic Bill of Rights, that will provide students with an alert system informing them if they have any holds or stops on their academic accounts. A task force was created that will be working on a system that will enable students to rate and review the performance of academic advisors.

The Academic Bill of Rights gives guidelines to professors on the use of syllabuses and ensures, among other things, that students are not discriminated against for any reason.

The alert system — which is planned for the spring semester — will let students know two weeks in advance via email if they have a hold on their academic account.

It will enable them to meet with their advisors and deal with any problems before they lose their seats in class.

Eventually, the advisor evaluation system will allow students to provide feedback to the university about their academic advisors, to help improve the poor quality advising currently available in some schools.


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