Kat Chat explores university’s future
Campus reps discuss parking, admissions
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 01:04
Nine representatives of Sam Houston State University were present at the Kat Chat put on by the Student Government Association on April 5.
The speakers present where: Sarah Hanel, Director of Student Health Center; Andrew Miller, Ph.D., Executive Director of Counseling and Health Center; James Fitch, Deputy of the University Police Department; David Kapalko, Head of Parking and Transit; Mitchel Muehsam, Ph.D., Dean of College of Business; John Yarabeck, Dean of Students; Debbi Hatton, Chair of Faculty Senate; Rhonda Vickers Beassie, J.D., Director of Student Legal Services; and Dan McDaniels, Director of Student Center.
Hanel and Miller discussed the expansion of the Student Health Center, and possibly connecting the SHC with the Counseling and Health Center. According to Miller this expansion might allow for 24 hours of operation, a drive through pharmacy, and a disability service area. Miller said the SHC would be unable to move towards the center of campus.
“Space is limited near the center of campus, so the likelihood of that is no,” Hanel said.
Fitch discussed what the UPD does around campus and that UPD is starting to put together their own six person SWAT team. Fitch also said that if the tobacco ban was implemented he is not exactly sure at this time how UPD would enforce it due to a low staff.
Fitch also commented on the failed wet petition for Huntsville. Fitch believes it could be brought back again before the vote in November, and he hopes that someone does. If someone did take on this task they would have to start over from the beginning.
“One of the main reasons it failed was because over 50 of the signatures were from voters who were not registered in Huntsville,” Fitch said.
Kapalko discussed parking availability on campus and the possibility of building more parking garages. According to Kapalko the amount of sold parking permits has gone down, while the amount of people using the parking garage has gone up. Kapalko does not know if one of the intramural fields could be paved as a parking lot, he said the decision would have to be made higher up. Kapalko is unaware when the next parking garage will be built.
“As students on a college campus you are in the best parking environment that you’re willing to pay for,” Kapalko said.
Muehsam stressed that all of the colleges are there to help students help themselves.
Yarabeck described what he did as the dean of students and spoke of two new programs that have been created; Ravens Call and OMGProgram. The Ravens Call is a ceremony for all Bearkats that have passed away and will be held on April 20. The OMGProgram is Online Mentoring and Guidance program that will start next fall and will help students without them having to coming into the building.
Hatton explained what the Faculty Senate did and some of their upcoming plans. Hatton would like to align the Faculty and Student handbook so that the faculty knows what the students have as rules. She would also like to make it to where Sam students graduate at the same time as other universities so students can be able to get the same job opportunities. Hatton also discussed an upgrade to Blackboard 9 which will occur this summer. SHSU is currently on Blackboard 7. According to Hatton anyone can attend the Faculty Senate meetings.
Beassie discussed her responsibilities which include helping students with all of their legal services, unless they are against the university and mediating between two parties. The SLS will not write contracts or other documents for students but they will help the students set them up and send them in the right direction. Beassie was also excited to announce that this is the first year that SLS has a full time attorney on staff.
Dan McDaniel went over the same things he did with SGA at their meeting on Wednesday. This included the possible expansion of the Lowman Student Center. McDaniel said that a bowling alley is possible, but before they decide what will go into the new LSC they have to get information from the students.