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Monday, March 8, 2021

Administration

BREAKING: Freshmen housing requirement ‘not dead’


IMG_6688-Justin-Tijerina

SGA President Charles Haston delivers a passionate speech urging senators to stand up and not accept mediocrity when it comes to driving UH policy. He introduced a resolution reaffirming SGA’s support of the administration in their Tier One initiatives, to be voted on next week. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

The Student Government Association held a special session on Tuesday, Aug. 26 in the SGA Senate Chambers that responded to the failed proposal that would have made it mandatory for first time in college freshmen to live on campus, which was opposed by UH alum and state senator John Whitmire

Undergraduate Committee Chair of the Faculty Senate Martha Dunkelberger

Undergraduate Committee Chair of the Faculty Senate Martha Dunkelberger spoke to the senate at the request of the SGA administration. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

“The understanding that I have is that while (the initiative) is no longer being publicly discussed publicly, (the initiative) is not dead,” said Martha Dunkelberger, CLASS Assistant Clinical Professor and Chair of the Undergraduate Committee of the Faculty Senate. “It is in discussion, along the lines of  ‘we need to be patient,’ and we need to follow some rules and follow some protocols to see how things are going to move along so we can get back into a working relationship with the senator and get things moving along.”

According to the original plan, waivers to appeal the mandatory housing would be available to freshmen that demonstrated financial difficulty, medical or ADA need or have a reason that deems it counterproductive for them to live on campus. The requirement would not apply to students who live with a parent or legal guardian within 20 miles of campus or to students who are married or have a child.

SGA created a resolution stating they fully support the UH administration and Board of Regents’ initiatives to become a Tier One campus and to improve retention and graduation rates while increasing student life and success. The resolution states that residential life is crucial to the student life experience and increases retention rates as well as graduation rates.

“We’re not a commuter school,” SGA President Charles Haston said. “We’re going to continue pushing forward in the way we have the last six years, and that somehow what we have done over the last six years is enough, that we should just stop here, doesn’t resonate with me.”

The resolution was tabled to committee and is expected to be voted on during the next senate meeting on Sept. 3. The meeting will be held in the SGA Senate Chambers in the University Center North building.

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