Students tell Student Government what they want at 4th Student Government Focus Group

Chris Persaud

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Student Government held its fourth focus group of 2011, when they took suggestions and complaints on how to make FAU better. Between 20 and 30 non-SG students showed up to the Oct. 25 meeting at the House Chambers.

Boca campus House Representative Thais Arsolino answered nearly all questions.

The UP sat down with Arsolino after the meeting to get her take on what SG could and would do to address the complaints and suggestions.

She said SG would do these focus groups once a month. Free pizza is served at the focus groups. Arsolino also mentioned at the beginning of this meeting that SG can’t increase parking – this was a common complaint at past focus groups.

The suggestion box

Enforce smoking ban: According to SG President Ayden Maher, smoking ban enforcement is awaiting approval by University President Mary Jane Saunders’ executive committee. Saunders could not be reached for immediate comment. There are currently designated spots for smokers, but there is no rule saying smokers can be punished for smoking outside of them. Arsolino said that, if Saunders’ committee failed to do anything about enforcing the ban, SG could look at trying to get fines or holds on smokers’ accounts.

Fix broken classroom technology: “I’m not going to say we’re going to buy new technology for classrooms, since [Activity and Service] fees shouldn’t go to computers,” said Arsolino. A&S fees fund student government agencies like Homecoming, Program Board and the UP. Arsolino said Technology Fee money should go to new computers instead of A&S fees. She said SG reps would bring up the matter to the technology fee committee, which doles out technology fee money.

Make meal plans non-mandatory for resident students: According to House Rep Reginald Horace, “[SG is] petitioning resident students about this. Afterwards, we’ll talk to Chartwells and see what the next step is.” He said petitioning started this week, but couldn’t confirm when Chartwells would see the results.

More bike security: “Unless there’s some new technology we don’t know about, there’s not much we can do,” Arsolino said. She did let students know, though, that residents who felt unsafe keeping their bikes outside were allowed to bring them up to their rooms.

More NightOwls drivers: Several students complained that there weren’t enough NightOwls carts to transport students. According to NightOwls Director Amanda Dier, they will hire one new driver this year, and possibly two more next year.

More ice machines in Innovation Village Apartments: “It’s just a matter of writing up a bill and finding out the cost,” said Arsolino. She said it could be done before the end of the semester.

Fix the crosswalk button near the Lifelong Learning Center: According to the Boca campus’ Speaker of the House of Representatives, Boris Bastidas and Arsolino, SG would first see if administration was already fixing it. If not, Arsolino said, “we would find out why, contact then and find out why it isn’t being fixed.”

Art/decorations/statues outside Algonquin Hall: “If the Art department wants to do it, we’ll help fund it,” said Arsolino. She promised, though, that there would be no “monument-sized” statues, as one student suggested.