By Naidelly Coelho, Asst. News Editor
Students discussed potential new school schedules, budget planning, and Ram Tram dispatch hours at its March 7 meeting.
At the meeting, Dale Hamel, executive vice president, presented capital projects and explained to SGA how to fill out their ballots to rank the projects and asked if they had any specific questions.
He asked senators to rank them from highest to lowest priority.
“At present, we probably have funding to do about a third of them again. But again, we're hopeful that some Fair Share funding comes and is directed to capital,” Hamel said.
The chosen projects will be implemented in the next fiscal year, he said.
Shelli Waetzig, professor of chemistry and food science, attended the meeting to discuss the possibility of a new course schedule that could go into effect fall 2024.
The proposal is to allow for more common free blocks for students and faculty, she said.
With the current schedule, there is a common free block on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Wednesdays, there are labs in the afternoon. “There has been a demand to have more,” Waetzig said.
In the proposed model, lectures that were 50 minutes long would be 70 minutes. For this to happen, morning classes would need to start at 8 a.m., she said.
This schedule would require all students to have classes between Monday through Friday, Waetzig said.
She said that faculty are also looking at behavioral health, and how these changes can impact students' lives.
Student Trustee McKenzie Ward said she has talked to professors who offer 8:30 a.m. classes. They typically have a low enrollment, so she thinks the 8 a.m. start could also impact enrollment.
“This schedule makes me a little nervous, too, because even students in my two-hour class periods, I can see that students are already losing attention. And typically, most people's attention span after 100 minutes is like zilch,” she said.
President Dara Barros said this schedule is not helpful to students who rely on working to pay for school because the current schedule with 50-minute classes gives time for students who want to work after school or take a Friday off.
During the open forum, Barros said she has been dealing with problems with the Ram Tram. She said their dispatch phone is usually down, so she has to go to their desk to get them to drive her to her destination.
“These have been mostly like when it's snowing out and I have to go to work and also late at night like when they're supposed to be on dispatch,” she said.
SATF Treasurer Sam Houle presented a pitch on behalf of the Fashion Club to allocate $249.95 for their activities. All three proposals for supplies were passed.
Ward thanked everyone who participated in the Board of Trustees open forum, and encouraged students to participate in the Administrators' Forum March 28.
“This is where you can address any concerns or ask any questions to the administrators,” she said.
Houle said he needs people to join his finance committee because the only way to approve certain funding requests is if there are enough people to approve it.
“If they [requests] don't get approved at the financial committee, then they are sent to the senate and these meetings get longer and it kind of defeats the purpose of having a committee,” he said.
Campbell said regarding women’s safety on campus, the Title IX coordinator is reaching out to students.
She said in terms of events happening on campus, there will be a women's brunch on March 25 from 12-5 p.m.
“You should join us in honor of Women's History Month. There's going to be food, networking, and dancing. There'll be tons of fun,” Campbell said.
Vice President Raffi Elkhoury presented the “U-Rock” to Secretary Mark Haskell because of all his efforts on behalf of SGA from the past four years.
[Editor’s Note: McKenzie Ward is Opinions Editor for The Gatepost]