Tobin Lofts complaints reach SGA

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Jami Keeton, liberal arts sophomore and Student Government Association public relations officer, is announced as this college's candidate for student trustee during the SGA meeting March 2 in Loftin. Dr. Jothany Blackwood, vice president for student success, attended the meeting in support of SGA.  Photo by Pam Paz

Jami Keeton, liberal arts sophomore and Student Government Association public relations officer, is announced as this college’s candidate for student trustee during the SGA meeting March 2 in Loftin. Dr. Jothany Blackwood, vice president for student success, attended the meeting in support of SGA. Photo by Pam Paz

“Puppy Day” to relieve stress during finals week.

By Aaron Martinez

amartinez1628@student.alamo.edu

Chris Lopez, commissioner of student affairs for the Student Government Association, told SGA March 2 he wants to address complaints from students who live in Tobin Lofts about roommates who have parties and disturb those who do not drink.

He suggested at the meeting in Loftin Student Center that the college create “sober living households” for students.

“Some students’ lifestyles do not include partying,” Lopez said. “They have an option to be close to campus, but when they have to deal with other people that are involved in that lifestyle, it really makes it difficult for people.”

Tobin Lofts are apartments on this campus that are open to students at any local college. Students can opt to pay rent “per bed” and share a common area with up to three roommates. The complex can “match” roommates in two- and four-bedroom apartments.

“People think these are dorms, but they’re really not,” sociology sophomore Cecilia Sierra, who is a resident at Tobin Lofts, said. “When we sign the lease, it’s exactly like the lease at all other apartments.”

Lopez said he wants to open a home through the Oxford House, a nonprofit organization in Silver Spring, Md., which primarily provides homes for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. The organization has 29 homes in San Antonio.

He suggested getting a charter for a home in which students would pay rent for living accommodations that offer a sober environment. Residents who broke the rules prohibiting alcohol would be kicked out, he said.

Lopez brought this concern up during the open discussion portion of the meeting, and SGA members questioned the funding but did not take any action on the idea.

Lopez said he has not spoken with anyone connected to Alamo Colleges about the idea, but he said he would look into funding from the state.

In other business, SGA gave results from a survey during Welcome Back Days Jan. 19-23 and 26-30, which gathered student opinions on a new spirit figure, the smokers’ corner and student activity involvement.

Of 287 students surveyed, 42 percent chose the Texas red hawk as the spirit figure, 30 percent chose a “liger,” 20 chose a cougar and 8 percent chose other. A “liger” is a tiger and a lion.

The Gnome Ranger was chosen by administrators as the spirit figure at the beginning of the fall semester, but some students were unhappy they were not a part of the vote.

SGA gathered student input and decided on new possible spirit figures at the end of the fall semester.

In another survey question, 50 percent of nonsmokers and 9 percent of smokers want a designated smoking area, and 38 percent of nonsmokers and 3 percent of smokers do not want a designated area.

This college has no official smoking area, but the “smokers corner” at Belknap and Dewey places has created controversy by students leaving cigarette butts on the sidewalk.

In another question concerning the fall semester, 49 percent of students said they have been involved in a student activity one to four times, 19 percent five to seven times, 15 percent eight or fewer and 17 percent had never been involved in student activities.

The survey will be emailed to all students after spring break to get more feedback then will be given to President Robert Vela, SGA President Karen Elliot said.

Parliamentary Officer Kim Briana-Lorine and student life Coordinator Mary Elise Ferrer are planning to set up a “puppy day” during final exam week May 11-16.

San Antonio Pets Alive, a group that shelters animals, will bring puppies for students to play with so students can relieve stress.

There is no set date for the event, but Lorine and Ferrer are planning to offer the puppies for adoption and the district has approved the event, Lorine said.

The next meeting is noon-1 p.m. March 16 in the craft room of Loftin. SGA meets the first three Mondays of every month. Meetings are open to the public.

For information, call 210-486-0133.

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