Associated Students hold first town hall meeting

COLLEGIAN: October 25, 2011

By Tori Morrison

“Voice your opinions on issues you want to see changed this year”
sang the fliers at Saint Mary’s first ASSMC town meeting on Wednesday,
October 19 at the Soda Center. The Senate conducted the meeting in
order to offer greater communication and support for the student body.
“We are just here to hear your voice,” said Damaris Nielsen student
body president. Topics including academics, parking, events, and the
new smoke free campus initiative were discussed.

The smoke-free initiative implemented by the Class of 2013, hopes to
transition Saint Mary’s to a smoke free environment. Collaborating
with health and wellness the 2013 Class Senate developed this
initiative to control smoking. “We are trying to set boundaries”, said
junior senator Kanan Sedani. The students concerns revolved around the
issue of freedom of choice. “We cannot force it on the students,” said
senior Arash Memarzadeh. The Senate clarified by stating that the
proposal will not force students to stop smoking, but monitor smoking
areas.

Another issue discussed was the parking problem on campus. Many
students felt the construction of a parking structure would deter from
the tranquil beauty of campus. Other options including fees,
carpooling, and extending the commuter parking lots were debated.
Chief of Public Safety, Bill Foley noted that there are enough parking
spots on campus to accommodate resident and commuter students.

Suggestions regarding improvements in the curriculum were also
mentioned. Student Treasha Weatherspoon offered adding an
intercultural dialoguing class offered in Jan Term to the curriculum.
The class helps foster respect among individuals and/or groups from
different cultural backgrounds. Students also voiced their opinions on
the registration process. Many concerns arose regarding holds on
accounts when it came time to register. Possible solutions such as
more email notifications and taking initiative and talking to the
registrar were mentioned.

ASSMC has made no plans to host another town meeting in the future,
however they strongly encourage students to come to the Senate
meetings in Hagerty Lounge on Sundays. If you have an opinion,
suggestion, or concern, please contact the student Senate. Your voice
will be heard.

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