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SGA meeting disrupted by false campus threat, Senate passes markerspace resolution

Juana Garcia/ The Cougar

Wednesday, chaos erupted at the Student Government Association meeting when SGA President Diego Arriaga alerted senators of an active campus threat, which turned out to be false. 

“During the meeting I was informed by a student on campus, who was informed by an HPD officer, of a dangerous suspect in the area around campus,” Arriaga said. 

While there was an incident reported by the Houston Police Department, the University was never under threat at any point during the night, said UHPD Lieutenant Anthony Davis.

After a stolen vehicle was pursued by HPD just south of Wheeler Avenue on Rockwood Drive, the suspects were seen on camera running through campus unarmed. HPD was able to apprehend the suspects. 

“HPD apprehended two other suspects while still in the vehicle. Following a thorough search, the campus was declared safe at 7:30 p.m.,” Davis said in an email. “The immediate response to the HPD incident by UHPD quickly identified there were no known threats to the campus.”

While the information was not confirmed at the time, as chaos erupted at the meeting, SGA members present in-person took shelter in place and resumed the meeting after confirmation from UHPD. 

“As a precaution for everyone we decided to seek shelter for that short time till UHPD also confirmed to us they had not heard of that information,” Arriaga said. 

​During the meeting, the senate passed a resolution recognizing the need to sustain makerspaces, particularly the Keeland Design Laboratory.

Keeland Design Lab, is a Hines College of Architecture’s fabrication space for students and primarily serves as the only makerspace at UH. The facility is currently facing financial difficulties, which could threaten its availability to students. 

The bill passed unanimously and the bill’s author, Sen. Tav Cockrell, emphasized the need for the makerspace to be sustained on campus. 

It’s very important that the makerspace is properly funded so that our creative art students and all students can engage in those activities and enhance their education,” Cockrell said. “If this maker space ceases to exist, the accreditation for our architecture program will be threatened and that will severely decrease our national rankings.”

The resolution urges UH’s administration to explore more sustainable models to continue the makerspaces operations, including partnerships with local business, alumni donations and grant opportunities. 

Additional resolutions recognizing support for the LGBTQ+ community at UH and condemning the suspension of the METRO University project were also read and will be brought to a vote at the next summer session meeting. 

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