Student Government: Plan to Unify Campus Organizations

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Utep’s Student Government Association and the Student Organization Council will work to create a reliable student government for the university.

S. David Ramirez, Staff Reporter

The Student Government Association is preparing a series of events they hope will enhance campus life.

The representatives hope to create a more accessible and reliable student government after campaigning with a record number of candidates.

Paulina Lopez, SGA president, said events spread out over the fall and spring semesters will create a showcase of UTEP talent.

“We want to open the door completely to students,” said Lopez, a junior organizational and corporate communication major. “We all are SGA, not just the senators, but actually the students. We want to unite the whole campus.”

SGA also plans to have a strong presence at high-profile events such as Minerpalooza on Sept. 6, homecoming on Oct. 5 and the upcoming TEDx event on Sept. 28.

The change comes on the heels of past administrations that were criticized for having a low-profile on campus.

Gustavo Dominguez, junior geological sciences major and SGA Supreme Court justice, said this year they will implement a focus on cooperation between all the branches of student government.

SGA will strive to create unity among the 194 individual student organizations on campus.

Dominguez described a system where each branch will provide additional support to each other. They hope to work toward the common goal of enhancing the UTEP experience for all students by collaborating on more events and activities.

“We are obligated to make sure that our function is loyal to students,” Dominguez said.

New standing committees were implemented during the summer to help with the new efforts.

The Student Organization Council and an SGA outreach committee will work to field questions and concerns from organizational representatives and students at large.

The outreach committee hopes to reach students through a campaign that will enroll students in a text messaging-based mailing list, where SGA will share updates about upcoming projects.

“Students always have their phones,” said Luis “Beto” Martinez, senior media advertising major and senator at large.

Martinez said that SGA will be advertising with banners across campus and on the Miner Metro buses, also focusing on outreach through social media.

The SGA also hopes this new push for involvement will bring in more registered student organizations.

“For a university of this size, we should have 400 organizations,” said Hector Soltero, junior organizational and corporate communication major and senator at large.

Soltero said there are a number of organizations that are chartered through educational departments, but have not filed the proper RSO paperwork. He said that there are also groups who meet casually at UTEP that could qualify for RSO status if they applied.

“It’s the same organizations coming back every year, asking for the same amount of money for the same events,” Soltero said. “We want to continue giving money to those organizations, but we want to reach out to the other organizations who might not know that they have these opportunities.”

Organizations who receive the RSO accreditation must have a minimum number of members and a faculty or staff sponsor. They are eligible to reserve public meeting space in the Union and apply for appropriations bills.

As part of the outreach committee, Soltero will meet with organization presidents to discuss how SGA can better serve their groups. The hope is that this will create a new trend in open access that will move across campus.

SGA senators and officers will be in public spaces during the first week of school to help students find classes and navigate through the ongoing campus construction.

SGA may be contacted at [email protected] or students can text SGA to 701010 for more information about upcoming projects.

 

S. David Ramirez may be reached at the[email protected]gmail.com.