By Madelyn Alexander, Editor in chief
The Student Government Association discussed student concerns including Ebenezer Swamp, parking and commencement protocols at their meeting on Nov. 9.
The meeting began with committee reports about various topics, ranging from upcoming events to resolution reports. During this time the SGA President, Cody Hodge, brought up student concerns based on feedback surveys presented at the Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 4. Hodge said most students expressed dissatisfaction with dining services, Wi-Fi and parking on campus.
Another part of Hodge’s report regarded commencement protocols and senior finals. Currently, seniors take their finals before other students. This is done so seniors can have their diploma in hand when they walk across the stage. This is an added point of stress for graduating seniors that Hodge believes can be avoided.
“If we move back when you get those diplomas, you’ll just get the folder, you could take the finals at the same time other students are,” Hodge said. “You would get your diploma within the next few days after commencement.”
Hodge believes this change would relieve some of the stress that already falls on graduating seniors.
Ultimately, he said this change would be up to students, and hopes to release a survey in January allowing students to vote on the idea.
SGA also introduced a new resolution written by President Pro-tempore Colton Rodano, Fine Arts Senator Sarah Sanchez, and supported by several other patrons.
Rodano explained the purpose of the resolution is to appeal to the Alabaster City Council regarding the development in the Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve watershed; a pressing issue on many students’ minds.
Sanchez said this resolution describes the many dangers of developing that land, including impervious surfaces not allowing aquifers to refill, species endangerment and water pollution.
Sanchez said, regarding the resolution, “We are asking the Alabaster City Council members directly to deny this development.”
Following a period of questions about the resolution, a motion was passed to table it to next week’s SGA meeting, when it will be voted on.
Junior Senator, Lauren Tidwell reported during the meeting that Alabaster City Council will be meeting the following Monday for their usual city council meeting, where they will be voting on the approval of rezoning land near the swamp for development. The city council meeting will include a time for public comment. Tidwell invited students to attend the meeting to have their opinions heard about the swamp development.
Tidwell hopes to show support in numbers for denying the development.
“Hopefully that opportunity will just allow us to express our grievances with the developments,” Tidwell said. “Frankly I feel as if we haven’t been given an opportunity to express our opinions at a time when it means something.”
Tidwell also shared plans to create petitions against the developments around the swamp. The petitions would be for both Montevallo faculty and students, and a separate one for Alabaster residents, because “Ultimately that’s the opinion that we really need to make that difference to the council.”
Freshman Senator, Jack Dahle, made a report about student parking. He expressed his intentions to push for changes in the university’s designation of parking spots, specifically in the parking lot near the Wallace Speech and Hearing Center.
Dahle noticed a consistent number of faculty or staff parking spots that go unused. He said his hope is to redesignate those parking spots for students.
He aims to eventually present the idea to the rest of SGA as a resolution.
The meeting concluded with a period of event announcements, including Senior Elite night which happened on Nov. 10, Town Hall which is to be held on Nov. 16, the upcoming Friendsgiving on Nov. 17 and UPC campus Spa Day on Nov. 29.
Madelyn Alexander is the Editor in chief for The Alabamian. She is a senior art major with a minor in multimedia journalism. Her hobbies include ceramics, reading and collecting plants.