SG explains current projects and hears student suggestions in Town Hall meeting

Graphic by Ben Cross
Graphic by Ben Cross

Over 50 students, staff and faculty attended UNF Student Government’s semesterly Town Hall meeting to hear about current projects, pitch ideas and voice concerns. 

SG is preparing for Finals Frenzy, where they will be handing out water bottles, snacks and green test booklets for students in front of the library. They also announced that preparations for the Spring 2017 Club Fest, hosted by Club Alliance, are underway. The event will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 26 and will coincide with UNF’s weekly Market Days.

One project the Grantham administration is pursuing is a syllabus bank. It would be an online resource for students to use while registering for classes and meeting with their advisors.

“It will allow students to cater their schedule to their learning style,” Grantham said.

The excess hours surcharge is another issue that President Grantham is tackling. He said he will work with Florida Student Association and lobby for either increasing the threshold that classifies “excess hours” or decreasing the surcharge.  

The Chartwells contract negotiation is underway, and the student representative for the Food Services Committee, Cole Poppell, will be advocating for the changes students said they’d like to see. SG is focusing on extending hours at dining facilities like the Cafe and the SU food court, as well as discussing the possibility of opening new venues. The decision to focus on these areas of UNF’s dining services was based on the results of Osprey Voice and roundtable surveying.

Students had ample time to voice concerns and make suggestions. One student asked if SG had ever looked into a bike-sharing program. The panel of SG representatives explained it had been considered in the past, but the idea never got rolling.

Sophomore finance student and Hicks Honors college member Paul Donaldson presented a plan he’s hoping will foster unity among UNF students and SG. His suggestions include creating a student ombudsman position not associated with SG, which would provide more opportunities for students to give feedback, and the ability to vote in elections from a smartphone.

Vice President Bella Genta said she was impressed by the progressive and in-depth questions students asked.

“It’s encouraging to see a genuine interest in what we’re doing,” Genta said. “There’s always room to grow and improve.”

The last Senate meeting of the semester is Monday, Nov. 21 and financial support for the Counseling Center will be discussed. SG members encouraged people to attend the meeting, and advertised that there are currently four open Senate seats.

“Our office is always open,” Grantham said in his closing remarks. “We’re here to serve you.”

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