This week’s Associated Students’ Government meeting focused on the topics of campus safety, the hiring process for a new dean of student life and the retirement of Marjorie Villani, the current acting dean of student life.
ASG President Vanessa Emerson announced her upcoming attendance at the Board of Governors meeting next week. She will have much more information to relay at the Oct. 10 ASG meeting, and she encouraged all students and staff to attend.
ASG Vice President Michael Weiner presented a budget report stating that $2,000 of the ASG budget has been allocated to scholarships and more than $5,000 has been paid in salaries to those serving.
Weiner also gave an update on the hiring process for a new dean of student life. The hiring committee has been reviewing applications and will have a meeting on October 1 to schedule Skype interviews with prospective candidates. Once the field is narrowed, on-campus interviews will be scheduled. The committee hopes to make a final decision in the next two weeks.
Villani, acting dean of student life, will officially retire on Oct. 1. She was commended for her support of the ASG and her willingness to delay her retirement for a month to help with some pressing issues. She spoke briefly about her time at CSU-Pueblo and credited President Emerson and all those serving as being one of the most organized student governments she had ever been involved with.
A recap of President Lesley Di Mare’s State of the University address was given. The main topics of discussion were the drop in enrollment and the emphasis on recruitment of new students. Although the overall numbers showed a drop, Di Mare felt confident that the university would be able to attract and retain more students in the coming years.
Several issues of general importance were brought up during committee reports.
Two elevators in the Occhiato University Center will need to be replaced before renovation and construction on the building begins. The elevator in the bookstore will not be replaced.
Although the final plans are not in place, all important offices such as Student Engagement and Leadership are projected to be on the main floor once renovation is complete.
There has been a problem recently in the Walking Stick apartments with residents getting locked inside their homes. The doors require a key to exit and this has become a safety issue that will be examined.
Professors in the college of science and math have proposed that the university start a CSU-Pueblo academic YouTube channel. This would be a place, other than Blackboard, where instructors could upload test reviews and other important information for students to access. Issues such as recording and uploading of videos and access questions are still being explored.
The most pressing issue brought before the ASG concerned campus safety.
With several cars being vandalized using paint, rocks and eggs, the severity of the problem requires immediate attention. Students have organized “safety walks” to patrol the parking lots and other areas but have found that the lighting is poor and there are no emergency phones installed. Also mentioned was the lack of campus police activity in areas that should be regularly patrolled.
Sayra Bassett, director of student affairs, will be working specifically to address these problems and has made campus safety a priority. More information will be available in the next week.
The next meeting of the ASG will be Thursday Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. in room 201 of the Occhiato University Center. All ASG and committee meetings are open to students and staff, who may present their concerns or issues to ASG if they attend.