SGA survey finds approval on tuition change

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Miguel Gonzalez, an English-as-a-second-language sophomore who has a bachelor of science degree in information technology from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and is a member of Hackers and Crackers, talks about hacking and cyber security at the Student Government Association meeting Oct. 3 in Loftin. Photo by Alison Graef

Miguel Gonzalez, an English-as-a-second-language sophomore who has a bachelor of science degree in information technology from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and is a member of Hackers and Crackers, talks about hacking and cyber security at the Student Government Association meeting Oct. 3 in Loftin. Photo by Alison Graef

Members bring up concerns for board, learn about hackers who help companies.

By Rachel Cooper

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Four members of the Student Government Association and nine students on Oct. 3 reviewed student input on a proposed tuition incentive, discussed hosting campus-carry forums for students and explored confusion about the advising process.

SGA received 290 surveys from students about an incentive that would allow students who complete 24 credit hours in a year to take one to two free summer classes.

Most of the surveyed students were in favor of the incentive, SGA President Harley Williams said at the SGA meeting in Loftin Student Center.

The results will be presented at the Alamo Colleges board of trustees committee meeting Oct. 11.

SGA members said it would be important to look at how many students take summer classes. SGA will discuss that in the next meeting noon-1 p.m. today in the craft room of Loftin.

The incentive is part of a proposed tuition increase. The board is considering changing from a flat rate of $504 for the first six credit hours for in-district students to $86 per credit hour.

This year’s student trustee, Emmanuel Nyong, attended the SGA’s meeting and said it is beneficial that he can communicate directly with students and faculty to be a voice for students.

He sits on the board of trustees and represents students from the five Alamo Colleges.

Liberal arts freshman Karen Elliot, also an ASL interpreter at this college, told Nyong students are getting confused about which adviser they should see.

“I’ve recently started listening to students who were talking about having that assigned adviser and being really unsure about whether they need to visit them, go to general advising in Moody or — say they’re in a major concentrated field already — a lot of the departments with majors already have an adviser there,” Elliot said.

Nyong said it is something the board can look into.

Elliot also brought up the campus carry law, which takes effect in fall 2017 for two-year colleges. She suggested this college should consider a free course or seminar so students know how the law will affect them.

“We have talked about having forums,” Williams said. “Really, we’re just waiting on the students’ input and really when you guys feel these forums would be best to have.”

Students have not been voicing their opinion to SGA about the campus carry law, Williams said.

The SGA agreed forums would be beneficial in either spring or summer.

In other business, a Hackers and Crackers club member did a presentation on hacking.

“Hackers are not necessarily bad people,” said ESL sophomore Miguel Gonzalez.

Hackers and Crackers meets noon-3 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday in Room 324E of Nail Technical Center.

“We’re computer enthusiasts, and the professors share their knowledge with us, and we practice,” Gonzalez said.

The club has a lab that doesn’t have internet “to play with the computers, to try to hack them, or try to scan it, to find out everything,” he said.

The club has competed in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition against other colleges.

There are three types of hackers, Gonzalez said.

A white-hat hacker is “the good guy who asks permission before he attacks your computers,” he said.

They introduce themselves and then write a report on the computer vulnerability for the company.

“The black hat are the bad guys. These guys will attack computers or companies and they won’t ask for permission,” Gonzalez said.

Black-hat hackers attack and sell the information they find.

The gray hat is the white hat and black hat hacker combined.

Hacking is legal when a hired hacker who asks permission comes to a company to test the computers to see how vulnerable they are, Gonzalez said.

The process of hacking into a computer and checking to see if a computer is vulnerable is called the penetration test or “pen-test,” Gonzalez said.

The pen-test involves reconnaissance to get complete information, scanning the internet or network, gaining access and covering the tracks, he said.

To avoid getting hacked, don’t open unknown emails, visit untrusted websites or connect to public Wi-Fi without proper security, Gonzalez said.

He also recommends using antivirus and anti-malware software and also suggests people use complex passwords.

Last week SGA partnered with Move San Antonio for National Voter Registration Day.

“We got 80-something students to register to vote, which is phenomenal,” Williams said.

SGA’s Pizza with the President is rescheduled for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday in the craft room of Loftin.

Williams advises students to check the SGA Facebook page for updates at https://www.facebook.com/SACSGA1/.

For more information, call 210-486-0133.

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