Looking to the future with SGA
The Daily Cougar sat down with Student Government Association President Cedric Bandoh to provide students with a wrap-up of the numerous accomplishments that SGA has achieved throughout the fall semester and its plans for the spring semester. SGA will have a new office in the New UC, featuring its senate chambers for biweekly senate meetings. SGA will reveal the University’s newly acquired piece of the World Trade Center during the WTC dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. Jan. 29 at the New UC, followed by a celebration of SGA’s 50th anniversary at 6 p.m.
The Daily Cougar: What types of bills has SGA passed this semester that will impact students?
Cedric Bandoh: We passed a resolution unanimously with the UC Policy Board to change the name of the University Center to the Student Center. The other day I wrote a memorandum, so it went through (Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Richard) Walker, who has approved it. Now it’s going to go through (President Renu) Khator, and I talked to her in our last meeting, and she said she’s fine with it. To make it official, we’re writing up the correct paperwork to make the name change in January 2015, once the whole project is complete.
TDC: How were you able to extend the library hours for students this semester? Will UH ever see a 24-hour library?
CB: We already have a 24-hour lounge, but the feasibility of opening up the whole library 24 hours just wouldn’t be cost-efficient. So we worked with the dean of libraries and the library administration to say, “OK, what can we do in the interim, and what can we do to maybe one day end up at a 24-hour library?” So the dean, she’s fantastic over there. She said, “OK, you know I’ll work with you guys, and we use data to support making decisions like that.” She goes, “We’ll extend the library hours one hour this year,” and we agreed to that. So now the library closes at 2 a.m., and we’re really excited about that. What we’re doing is actually monitoring the traffic and in those last couple of hours to see if the traffic there warrants extending the hours even more.
TDC: How effective has the Improve UH site been for students since its launch in August?
CB: It’s been an extreme success. You know, we have different subject areas that students are able to kind of give their ideas. Some really good ideas have been submitted. Some issues have come up and been submitted and we’re able to address it — things that we never would have even known of if it didn’t come through Improve UH — like for example, Farish Hall. Apparently, the bathrooms there need a lot of work. Actually, the stalls were missing, and some of the ladies sent us some information on (Improve UH) that you can’t get any privacy when you’re using (the bathroom). … I was able to send that over to facilities; they’re already working on it. But they gave me specifics: ‘This is the project timeline, this is the project manager.’ So we’re able to have that detail of a discussion with students now, with this platform.
TDC: What is the status of the University app moving forward into the spring semester? I know students have been on the buzz about ‘where is it.’
CB: So the app is actually complete (and will release in January). I got an email the other day that we have the final version of it. We’ve been doing a lot of testing with students actually to get all the usability testing done. We’ve been taking it back and forth to the developer for things to change and fix. What is going on right now is that we’re just waiting for everything to be approved by Apple and Google Play. So that’s where we are right now. I just actually met with the IT people the other day, and they were jumping for joy, ‘We’re done.’ So we just have to wait for paperwork, all the legal stuff. We wanted to make sure we deliver a top-quality app to students. … So the reason why we waited (is) to make sure it’s top-quality, so when it’s released, there are really no questions asked.