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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Student Government

Last senate meeting of the year wraps up with veterans, new positions

Carolina Trevino Web-1

The Student Government Association voted unanimously Wednesday to house the Veterans Services office in the second floor of the New UC, as opposed to the basement. | Carolina Trevino/The Daily Cougar

As the semester comes to a close, the last official Student Government Association meeting of the year covered topics ranging from extending UH restaurant times to UH food truck options, from Cub Camp progressing to guest veterans speaking in hopes of regaining their rightful Veterans Services offices.

With the Veterans Services office currently located in the basement of the University Center, a group of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury spoke in favor of regaining their original Veterans Services office on the second floor of the UC as a peaceful place to study and decompress.

The veterans explained how the basement location caused stress, often triggering bad memories, and has constant noises, since it is near the bowling alley and arcade.

“You deserve your home away from home. I think it’s a matter of public safety,” said College of Business Senator Sunil Motwani.

In an effort to make the University’s Veterans Services the best, with a unanimous vote, the veterans’ bill passed.

Three new positions were declared to the SGA Senate. SGA Attorney General Shane Smith appointed Kendrick Aldridge as the new chief election commissioner. Aldridge has vast work and internship experiences, including a summer internship at the White House Chief of Staff’s Office, and came into the position with a mission.

“My mission will be to ensure that the integrity of the electoral process is protected and that a fair election is held,” Aldridge said.

“I’m not here on a shift. I’m here on a mission to ensure this process is fair, efficient and done in a timely fashion — and when my work is done, that’s when I will leave. In my opinion, clear and efficient elections are not only beneficial for the candidates running for positions, but also for the students who want their voices heard, and having a smooth and informative election process every step of the way is key.”

SGA President Cedric Bandoh appointed Smith to the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee and Nestor Garcia as senator of the College of Technology.

Sergeant-At-Arms Garcia spoke on his reasons for becoming the senator of the College of Technology.

“I work at a construction company and deal with concrete and drainage issues,” Garcia said, “and for that particular reason, I think I would be a great fit in order to fix the maintenance issues here on campus, dealing specifically with drainage and concrete issues.”

SGA enacted two new bills in hopes of providing UH students a better and more varied dining experience.

While the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library is open until 1:45 a.m. Monday through Thursday, the Cougar Xpress Market closes by midnight during the weekends, and several classes are being held after 5 p.m., so there are few dining options available during the weekends or late at night to satiate hungry students.

Senator Tanzeem Chowdhury authored a new bill that was enacted to extend UH restaurant times. The bill requires that all restaurants at the new University Center serve until at least 7 p.m. and preferably until 10 p.m. SGA supports having late-night food options opening at midnight and closing at 3 a.m. on campus; they encourage more food options and restaurants to be available during the weekend.

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