Students can express their views in an electronic vote at the Antojitos Festival.
By Brianna Rodrigue
Nine students at the Student Government Association meeting Monday opposed and two approved an in-district tuition hike tabled by the Alamo Colleges board of trustees until student input could be gathered.
The proposed change in the tuition structure for in-district students was discussed on Sept. 13 during a meeting of the board’s Audit, Budget and Finance Committee, but it was tabled for college presidents to get opinions from students.
The new in-tuition rate is to encourage students to take more courses and graduate faster in two to three years with free summer courses included.
If students take 24 credit hours in a year, 12 hours both in fall and spring, they would have the opportunity to take two free summer courses.
This would be a two-year completion for students that would save $186 annually by completing 30 credit hours in a calendar year.
If a student takes 18 credited hours in a year, nine hours in both fall and spring, they would have the opportunity to take one free summer course.
This would be a three-year completion for students that would save $141 by completing 21 credited hours in a calendar year.
The two students who agreed with the proposal were political science freshman Monica Castro and general science freshman Viktoria Martinez.
“I think it is a good idea because it is not just the money you are saving, but it helps you finish faster with your studies,” Castro said.
Martinez said she enjoyed taking summer classes because they were at a faster pace and it kept her involved.
Computer science freshman Bill Zan was one of the nine who disagreed because he believed it would not benefit a lot of students because students usually work full time, travel or relax during the summer.
Biology pre-nursing sophomore Elizabeth Hill believes students will not take the free summer courses because they will have too much on their plate.
“As you transition more to the college aspect and into adulthood, you can suffer from burnout so a lot of students may not take these courses because of burnout,” Hill said.
Psychology sophomore Harley Williams, president of SGA said she would not take the summer courses.
“I was always used to having summer off because of elementary through high school so I do not take summer courses because I feel I wouldn’t be mentally on the right mindset because I am used to having summer off so I wouldn’t be successful I think,” Williams said.
The new in-tuition rate would be effective in spring 2017 if the board approves it.
Williams said there would be an electronic vote open during the Antojitos festival Sept. 28 in the mall.
Williams wants students to participate in the electronic vote so the board of trustees will know how students feel about the proposed in-tuition rate.
Notes taken during the SGA meeting and the results from the electronic vote will be presented at the board of trustees at the monthly board meeting 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Alamo Colleges-Central Texas Technology Center in New Braunfels.
The meeting is open to the public.
In other business, SGA agreed to bring up parking again with President Robert Vela at Pepsi with the President Oct. 6.
“I noticed the parking this semester is way worst then the previous fall semester,” Hill said.
Students said that it was difficult to find a spot during the first month of the semester.
Some students also said they saw disagreements in parking lots because of drivers stealing spots and speeding.
Vela said during the Pepsi with the President Sept. 8 that there will be a new parking garage in the future, and if parking continues to be an issue, renting parking lots and having shuttle buses could be the result to fix it.
Both Hill and Castro said that there should be speed limit signs and speed bumps because students do not know the speed limit is 10 mph on campus, according to the student handbook.
“I was nearly hit three times last semester and two times this semester because of students speeding,” Hill said. “Other Alamo Colleges I visited had speed limits posted.”
Accounting sophomore Jenna Keeton, commissioner of public relations, said there should be crossing guards at cross walks since students are speeding.
Williams will discuss parking issues with Vela.
The next SGA meeting will be noon-1 p.m. Oct. 3 in the craft room of the Loftin Student Center. Meetings are open to anyone.
For more information, students can stop by the SGA office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Thursday in Room 260B in Loftin or follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SACSGA1/.
Students can contact SGA at 210-486-0133.