Open carry bill and Dream Act are among passed resolutions.
By Aaron Martinez
Five resolutions on issues affecting college students were passed in Dallas April 7-10 at the Texas Junior College Student Government Association conference, which six members of this college’s SGA attended.
The association will submit the resolutions to the Texas Legislature, SGA members said in a meeting Monday.
This college’s SGA recommended two of the five resolutions, support for the Texas Dream Act and opposition to the Texas Campus Carry bill.
Other resolutions supported mental health support awareness, sexual assault awareness and the Texas Common Course Numbering System.
The Resolutions Committee for the state organization includes Chris Lopez, commissioner of student affairs, and Kim-Briana Lorine, parliamentary officer.
In 2001, Gov. Rick Perry signed the Texas Dream Act, allowing undocumented students who have lived in Texas for three years or have received a GED, to receive in-state college tuition.
Members of student government organizations around the state agreed their goal is to promote fair and equal treatment for students.
“We want to give them an opportunity to be supported by the state,” SGA President Karen Elliot said.
“We’ve invested in them and we want them to invest back into the community.”
The Resolutions Committee wanted to support mental health awareness because members believe “there is a lack of mental health support for college students,” according to the resolution.
The committee predicted the demand for mental health services will grow, and the lack of adequate mental health support will result in students earning lower grade-point averages, being unemployed and dropping out.
The resolution recommends colleges have a Mental Health Awareness Day Oct. 10.
With sexual assault on college campuses getting attention because of federal Title 9 rules, the Resolution Committee decided to promote the awareness of sexual assault to protect students.
Title 9 requires colleges and universities to respond to sexual assault and harassment cases and have policies in place to prevent sexual assault and harassment.
The resolution also recommends that colleges hold an event each school year to promote awareness of sexual assault.
Another issue was allowing guns to be carried on college campuses by holders of concealed handgun licenses.
Texas Penal Code 46.04 prohibits weapons from being carried on the premises of any Texas school or educational institution unless there is written authorization from the institution.
Senate Bill 11 would allow concealed handgun license holders to carry weapons on college campuses.
“Our resolution that we brought was to allow the campus and university to make the decision to whether or not they wanted to allow it or not,” Elliot said.
The Resolution Committee supported the Texas Common Course Numbering System, so students have smoother transition when transferring courses to a university.
The Texas Common Course Numbering System is a single course numbering system, which helps the transfer of courses among public colleges.
In other news, Heather Cura and Yescenia Flores from the office of technology services held a focus group with the attendees of the SGA meeting to determine ways to improve services for students.
Cura asked the attendees to name roadblocks to being a successful student.
Students were concerned about raising awareness that all students do not have smartphones, which are required for some classes and assignments.
They also said delays in updating grades, inadequate Wi-Fi services and a lack of computers for check-out were problems.
Lopez said he has teachers who use Canvas course management system, but do not keep grades current and he has teachers who do not use Canvas.
The district does not require all teachers to use Canvas because training for Canvas is not required for all.
The Luminus platform in ACES is the primary place for teachers to put their files and grades if not using Canvas, Cura said.
The concern of students losing Wi-Fi when going from one building to another was discussed, and the problem will be discussed in upcoming meetings, Cura said.
The next Student Government Association meeting is from noon-1 p.m. April 20 in the craft room of Loftin.
SGA meets the first three Mondays of every month.
For more information, call 210-486-0133.