With half of their year-long terms behind them, Student Government President Kori Rady and Vice President Taylor Strickland said they hope to use their remaining time in office to extend and perfect the initiatives they implemented in the fall semester.
In the fall, SG members authored a resolution in support of having the Flawn Academic Center open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This semester, Rady said the FAC will retain extended opening hours, but cut back slightly to 24 hours a day, five days a week.
“The plan is to work with [the FAC] to take away 24/7 because Fridays and Saturdays weren’t getting that heavy of usage,” Rady said. “We’re meeting with a roundtable group in the next couple of weeks, I hope, but I don’t want to make any promises. We hope that it’ll be back this semester, as it was
Cherry Chau, human biology and chemical engineering junior, said she uses the FAC to study late at night because of its proximity to West Campus, but a change from last semester’s 24/7 policy would not interfere with her study habits.
“Until finals come, people don’t really study on Fridays anyway,” Chau said. “If the [FAC] was open Sunday through Thursday, that would be good. I wouldn’t mind the reduction.”
Rady said the Student Services Budget Committee, a collective effort between SG, Graduate Student Assembly and faculty members, approved $52,000 in additional funding to continue Safe Ride, a student driving service that provides users with rides home from downtown Austin. The additional funds will double the size of the program, Rady said.
“We served over 3,000 students overall [last semester] and gave them rides home for free, preventing drinking and driving and giving them another option to be safe while enjoying the experience that is college,” Rady said.
Strickland said SG will continue to plan Upperclassmen Shadowing Day, a goal Rady and Strickland introduced in their original campaign platform in spring 2014. The event would pair freshmen with seniors, with the hope that seniors can provide advice about the major selection process. Students will be able to attend classes with their senior counterpart.
“We really like that students have engaged us,” Strickland said. “A lot of things we’ve done have been from students’ recommendations and things that students really want to see. We just want to keep that going … and make this the campus [students] want to be on.”
Rady said SG will push to make student IDs an acceptable form of voter ID, and work to plan a unified student tailgate before football games. Strickland said she hopes last semester’s changes will remain in effect after her tenure ends.
“We’re going to be fighting until the end,” Strickland said. “Nothing is dead in our eyes. We’re going to be pushing for all of our platform points, so we’re really excited to see things develop.”