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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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Senate wraps up summer opening new library textbook exchange


Textbook exchange was created by the SGA senate. UH M.D. Anderson Library course reserve.

Senators voted to create a textbook exchange run by the libraries where students can donate and check out books. | Michael Slaten/The Cougar

The Student Government Association senate passed a bill Wednesday night that would create a textbook exchange run by the library for students to donate and check out textbooks, along with passing three other bills in its last meeting of the summer.

The textbook exchange will use the libraries course reserve system for students to find textbooks for their class. The bill calls for the library to advertise online which textbooks are available in the new exchange by Spring 2019.

President Cameron Barrett said he plans to work with the UH Faculty Senate to add to faculty/course evaluations a question asking how useful was a textbook to a course.

All textbooks donated to Barrett’s initial plan for a textbook exchange run by the student government association will be transferred to the new library system, according to the bill.

The senate also passed The Meal Plan Price Control and Transparency Act which aims to limit how much meal plans can rise every year to an average of three percent, according to the bill. The bill also calls for the “cost-per swipe” be identified next to meal plans.

“Three percent is our goal, if we don’t meet that goal we need reasonable justification for why not.” Barrett said.

Meal plans rose on average by 2.8 percent from FY 2018 to FY 2019, according to a presentation on fees.

At the meeting, Barrett announced that he will sign an executive order directing leftover funds from SGA’s Fiscal Year ending August 31 to be spent on purchasing meal cards. The meal cards contain 21 meals to be used at on-campus dining services.

The meal cards will be given to students who fill out an application in need of food assistance, according to the order.

The Campus Recreation & Wellness Safety Act was passed to add signage to the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center about reporting suspicious or inappropriate behavior there and increasing UHPD’s presence to assist staff members with enforcing on students with sanctions.

The bill says there have been recent instances of disorderly conduct and harassment at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center. There have been four crimes, two of which were harassment, at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center in the last 60 days, according to UHPD’s daily crime log.

The senate read but did not vote on a bill that would change voting days for SGA elections. In April, the senate voted to change the election voting to two days a week over a three week period to help increase voter turnout.

The bill read on the floor Wednesday night would open up voting on the third friday in February and close it the following Thursday.

Undergraduate-at-Large Senator Pareesa Mehra said the voting over three weeks system would be detrimental to students being strayed away from classes to campaign.

The senate also passed a bylaw reform bill. Barrett said they plan to update the SGA constitution in the fall.

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Senator Gabe Aguilar announced at the end of the meeting he will be resigning as senator to work out of state for a semester.

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