Fall 2013's State of the Semester Address
Published: Monday, December 2, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 00:12
The (not) impeachment hullabaloo that took place this fall shows us that nepotism, incompetence and inflated egos wriggle themselves into every government body, no matter how small. However, the unsung story is that despite all of these unavoidable negative attributes, student government has dusted itself off and gotten over it.
In between scandals, the infighting and posturing are generally background noise to real issues that affect students. One recent example of their dedication to student issues is the passage of 12 pieces of legislation which focus on LGBT equality and handicap accessibility. While most of these are symbolic, they are a metaphorical step in the right direction. Another relevant issue SGA is dealing with involves university compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In an attempt to deal with problems involving inefficiency, they are proposing constitutional amendments that streamline the governing process, and clear ambiguity will be out to student voters in the spring.
The closing of Gundy’s hookah bar represents a loss to Huntsville. Gundy’s was a place where students could huddle around hookah or play a fun game of Cards Against Humanities, spending time in a safe environment.
As someone who chooses not to drink alcohol, Gundy’s was pretty much the only place I could go after 10 p.m. other than Walmart. It made Huntsville a more accepting, eccentric and modern town. It will be missed.
Sam Houston State University has done an amazing job on the field this year. Timothy Flanders has been nominated as a Walter Payton Finalist, the highest award that can be awarded to a FCS football player. The Bearkats qualified for the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs with women's sports leading the way to postseason success with soccer and volleyball both making it to their respective postseason tournaments.
But success isn’t held to only the sanctioned teams: women’s club rugby made it to nationals for the second consecutive year. All in all, the Bearkats have eaten it up this semester.
Changes in education
While reading reports on state funding for education are about as fun and interesting as an icepick lobotomy, it has taught us a lot about the future of education. Fixed-rate tuition has shown us that state officials want to pretend like they are solving the problem of increasing tuition without actually solving it.
Competency-based education has been the talk of department heads, but the college has not yet decided whether or not they want to adopt it. What is being adopted are new required classes in the common core, which will leave some departments winners and some losers. Overall, education is changing, but we are not entirely sure where it is going.
We’ve had a parking problem on campus for a century. An early Houstonian story predating the widespread adoption of cars complained of lack of spaces on campus for horses. As much as the university might enjoy revenue from parking tickets, it’s really time to take care of that.