By: Stacy Portilla, Staff Reporter
Last semester, there was plenty of negative attention directed towards the Student Government Association. Many students felt that important issues were being swept under the rug and opinions were being pushed aside, resulting in biased feelings about the organization that oftentimes resulted in rumors. While many students feel as though SGA does not properly represent the opinions and desires of resident and commuter students, President Tim Lazicki realizes this and has taken action.
“We want to make sure senators are representing the students,” Lazicki said.
This semester, with a new president SGA has been hard at work addressing student issues like the lack of light in the Noonan reading room and the noise surrounding the high traffic areas in the library. New lamps were recently placed at every table in the Noonan reading room and librarian consensus says that library noise has indeed decreased. Both actions have resulted in positive feedback and have improved the university as a whole.
To give students a better understanding of the way SGA represents the student body, the senators have devised a plan to set up a bulletin board on which they plan to post issues, proposals and the statistics of how each senator voted. In addition to the new board, SGA also has other big plans for the future based on feedback from students. These plans include fixing the lights outside of Parmer, replacing broken water fountains around campus and extending hours in the fitness center. SGA has also announced their plans for the future include creating a station where students have 24 hour access to printers making CTA passes available on campus for both residents and commuters and possibly installing water bottle dispensers.
“I responded at the meeting that yes we will install [a water bottle dispenser] in Coughlin Commons and look at possibilities in the halls themselves,” Director of Buildings & Grounds Dan Bulow said. “I will order the one and it should be in before the end of the semester.”
Although the lights outside Parmer have not been replaced, and it is too late in the semester to change the budget for extended fitness center hours, SGA has taken the appropriate steps to have the broken fountains fixed. The association has also addressed students’ desire for 24-hour printing access and CTA passes on campus. Both have been approved. Dominican will begin selling CTA passes in the bookstore starting March 14 and Coughlin Commons’ printing is scheduled to take effect in the next upcoming weeks.
“I think the CTA passes are a really good idea and the printing will make students’ lives much easier. It is something I wish would have been available to me a long time ago and I hope that both ideas have follow through,” student Pedro Vallejo said.
However, although SGA has tried to dispel many rumors, the rumors surrounding tobacco use on campus remain. Despite the circulating rumors, SGA had no plans of banning smoking on campus. Instead, they have devised a proposal stating that smoking can be bothersome to non-smokers. If students are expected to stay within the confines of the designated smoking areas they must be well defined and suitable. Rather than banning smoking on campus, SGA is trying to improve the areas to make them more smoker-friendly regardless of the area or weather. The proposal has gone to Trudi Goggin, Dean of Students, and is awaiting further discussion.
On Wednesday, Feb. 23, SGA held its Annual Town Hall meeting to further discuss the issue of smoking on campus. Although nothing was determined, mainly due to lack of student participation, on March 14, SGA will hold another meeting to further discuss the issue. Smokers and non-smokers are encouraged to come and voice their opinion in an open forum and Dean Goggin will also speak. At the end of the forum, SGA will vote on the issue and whether or not the plan should be put into effect next year.
With several senior senators, Lazicki hopes more students will become more involved with SGA before the year is over so SGA can continue perusing their number one goal: serving the students of Dominican.
“It’s the whole idea of ask not what your school can do for you but what you can do for your school,” Lazicki said. “We are simply trying to leave the university better than we found it.”