Chancellor Q&A, University Center bond fee discussed at SGA senate meeting

Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2015

Evan Musick
[email protected]

Adorned with multicolored birthday hats, the chancellor, assistant vice chancellor for Administration and SGA senators attended the bi-weekly SGA senate meeting Nov. 19.

The meeting’s agenda held a Q&A with the chancellor, discussed Student Resolution 01 and Senate Bill 11. It was also the birthday of John Ferko Jr., senator at large. Confections and party favors were provided to the audience.

Once the meeting was called into session, chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak stepped to the podium and conducted a brief Q&A session with the senate.

She addressed the senate by first praising the SGA with successful meeting of goals and attendance at the budget advisory committee.

She then commented on the progress of the rec center, and how the good weather has been beneficial for construction after flooding over the summer.

The Q&A began with one senate member asking Shockley-Zalabak what she thought of SR 01, which encourages UCCS to enforce compliance with governor John Hickenlooper’s Executive Order D 2015-013, in the hopes of increasing university energy efficiency and sustainable practices.

“In the broadest of senses, I support the resolution,” said Shockley-Zalabak.

But she did have one issue with the resolution.

“There are a number of factual inaccuracies in the resolution, and that needs to be addressed,” she said.

Brandon Bishop, student and author of SR 01, then asked about the institution’s stance on the executive order.

Shockley-Zalabak explained the order does not apply to UCCS. Previously signed policies, regent policies and commitments made to foundations helping build the university were listed as current constraints.

“It isn’t the governor’s executive order that I have any real problem, it’s how we implement it within the confines of our government body, and how that works. But the spirit of it is going to be implemented,” said Shockley-Zalabak.

Later, SR 01 was voted to be tabled until more discussions could occur with the chancellor about the specifics of the resolution. It will be readdressed at the Feb. 11 senate meeting.

There was also the issue of space for clubs becoming limited as the campus population grows.

“This is something that we’ve got to put in our planning as we go down toward Nevada, and get creative with that. There’s no question that we are too tight on space in this facility,” said Shockley-Zalabak in regards to the University Center.

She also said that growth of the University Center would have to be fee funded, and must be addressed carefully.

Next, Shockley-Zalabak stressed the importance of diversity on campus in response to vice president Travis Tafoya asking how students should speak out about diversity issues.

She reminded the senate that she and the vice chancellors would be holding an open discussion the next day. She added she wanted to hear of issues that may not reach her attention.

“It doesn’t mean that I’m aware of everything I need to be aware of,” said Shockley-Zalabak. “I want students to help me, either individually or as groups, see what else we should do.”

“I will not sit in my office.”

Gary Reynolds, assistant vice chancellor for Administration, attended the meeting but did not address the senate and left with Shockley-Zalabak shortly after the Q&A portion concluded.

After a quick break for cake and ice cream, Senate Bill 11 was introduced.

SGA president, Zach Woolweaver briefly introduced SB 11, which seeks to extend the University Center Bond Fee to 2025. After some disagreement of the bill’s wording, and subsequent rewording, the bill was passed unanimously, 13-0.

If the bill is voted down by students in the spring, there may be possible cuts to those employed in the University Center.

At the end of the meeting, senator of the Graduate School Jeanine Prescott announced her resignation due to accepting a full-time position as a teacher at Falcon High School. Dec. 10 will be her last senate meeting.

SGA senate meetings are open to the public and held every other Thursday in University Center 303 at 7:30 p.m.