The UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) held their weekly student senate legislative meeting of the year April 6.
Chancellor Philip Dubois spoke to the Senate and addressed several different topics. He began by giving updates about the numerous construction projects on campus that are either in progress or will begin work in the next few months. He also discussed the parking situation on campus in correlation with the construction. The Health and Wellness Center, also referred to as a recreational center, will begin construction in June. While the center will be built on parking lot 19, which has 261 parking spaces, the Union Deck will be expanded to make up for the lost parking spots. Since the Union Deck will be under construction, the university decided to improve its shuttle system by privatizing it. The university will no longer use Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) on campus but will use UNC Charlotte shuttles that will run every seven minutes in accordance with the Light Rail schedule. It is unclear when the Light Rail system will be up and running. The new Counseling Center that is being built next to the Health Center will be ready for the fall semester. The old location of the Counseling Center will be made into an expansion of the Career Center. There are also plans for a new admissions building that will replace the tennis courts by South Village as well as renovations to Belk Plaza which will include “a grand lawn and a water feature,” according to Dubois.
Dubois also addressed the topic of diversity initiatives that the university is working on. Dubois said while all of the initiatives were online for public viewing, they were not all in the same place so a diversity website is in the works. He believes that this will make it easier for people to view all of the work that the university is doing in regards to diversity. Dubois also discussed the fact that after the Keith Lamont Scott shooting in Charlotte, it was brought to the administrations attention that many faculty members were not prepared to have discussions about race in their classrooms. This issue led to the establishing of a summer institute about teaching diverse communities. While the institute is not mandatory for faculty members, those who attend will receive a stipend since they are off-contract in the summer.
Dubois addressed several concerns about campus safety that were brought to light after the sexual assault allegation on campus in February. Several senators asked questions in regards to receiving alerts and gave Dubois suggestions on what information students deem to be important when it comes to campus-wide alerts. Dubois said that they are in the process of determining what information is worth sharing and what is not. In reference to the incident on campus, Dubois stated since the suspect and victim knew each other and the suspect quickly apprehended, an alert was not sent out.
New Student Organization
The Thomistic Institute – This organization “exists to promote Catholic truth in our contemporary world by strengthening the intellectual formation of Christians at universities, in the Church and in the wider public square.”
Officer Position Elections
The senate voted on eleven open officer positions for 2017-18 and the results are as followed:
- Speaker of the Senate – Niayai Lavien
- Senate Pro Tempore – Cydney Turner
- Academic Affairs Chair – Chris Walls
- Internal Affairs Chair – Brea Talley
- OWAM Chair – Jocelyn Kearney
- P&O Chair – Tobi Kalejaiye
- Student Affairs Chair – Capree’ Van Eaton
- Parliamentarian – Chandler Crean
- Historian – Asia Carter
- Sergeant at Arms – Hilda Kolawole
- Webmaster – Tyler Duru
The students will assume their roles after the student government inauguration on April 13.