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SGA discusses issues with Student Transportation Center

By Caitlin Frias

SGA discussed issues with the RamTram service and handicap accessibility on campus during its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Senate Chair Mike O’Brien led a heated discussion between two Student Transportation managers and the senate.

SGA members asked managers of the Student Transportation Center (STC) questions pertaining to timing issues with the RamTram, specific protocol and what challenges the RamTram staff generally face.

Senator Ayanna Ferguson asked why the RamTram has not shown up on time in the past couple of weeks, as she relies on the service to take her to work.

STC manager Josh Stiles said, “A lot of the times, when the RamTram should start, there’s massive amounts of people outside. So those buses fill up, and once they fill up, they just leave.”

Some SGA members asked whether the larger issue was the STC being understaffed.

Both STC managers assured SGA the issue was not a matter of understaffing, but the result of having to follow the 20-hours-per-week cap for student workers.

STC manager Megan Ackerman said, “Most people don’t work up to the 20 hours. We have athletes that work with us, so they only work the 10.

“There are other people that don’t even work a minimum of five hours. Last semester, it was different because you could work up to 30 hours and it was easier to get shifts covered,” she added.

Vice President Jack Capello asked the STC representatives what problems the Center faces.

Stiles responded by stating many people approach the STC desk thinking it is an information desk.

This leads to a lot of frustration among the STC staff, as knowing specific information about University events is not part of their job description.

“We have people get mad at us asking, ‘Where is this event?’ and we have no idea. We do our best to try and help out, but sometimes it does get annoying,” said Ackerman.

SGA also addressed the issue of campus accessibility for students with disabilities.

President Kyle Rosa and Parliamentarian Ben Carrington brainstormed solutions to meet the needs of students with disabilities on campus.

SGA decided to propose the Health Center install an automatic door at its entrance to satisfy the needs of its patients.

Rosa and Carrington stated they would request funding in the near future.

SGA also evaluated funding requests for campus clubs.

A funding request was made by the Craft Club for $1,440 to cover the cost of 56 tickets for a trip to Craft Boston at the Hynes Convention Center on Dec. 16.

The funds will cover all-day transportation to the event and back to campus.

The request was approved.

A funding request was made by the Community Service Club for $2,063 to cover the cost of potential transportation for remaining trips.

The cost would cover transportation for approximately 1-2 trips per month.

A representative from the Community Service Club explained if there were funds not used from the initial funding request, this money would roll back into the Student Activity Fee Account.

The request was approved.

A funding request was made by SGA for $25,000 to bring Bernice King, minister and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., to campus to speak.

Capello said, “The campus really needs this right now.”

Capello explained that although the cost is $25,000, SGA would only be responsible for approximately $5,000 due to collaborations with other universities in the area where the speaker would also visit.

The request was approved.

Capello presented the U-Rock award to Senator Amanda Taylor.

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