Will student issues and concerns be resolved?
Posted on Oct 30, 2012 in News
The Fall Student Forum 2012 at the Blazer RLC had a great turnout last Friday with more than fifty UAB administrators present in one setting.
Thanks to the USGA Student Advocate, Deborah Craddock, and several other members of the USGA, the forum had about forty-five students in attendance.
The dialogue was composed of students voicing out their concerns and questions to the administrators.
Among the variety of topics addressed, a number of students were indicating concerns about parking, housing, dining, and scholarships.
Parking has been limited; this leads to congestion in the Business and Engineering Complex (BEC) Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The plans for a transit system will resolve the parking issue, especially for commuter students and employees. Concerning possible additional parking decks, it costs $13,000 to $16,000 to build another floor in comparison to installing a flat parking.
Motorist Assistance Roadside Service (MARS), a free car assistance service for students on campus, was brought up by USGA Senator Dhruv Patel. The question was raised as to the timeliness of the service provided by the staff. It turns out that a single driver is employed, which results in the delay of the service.
Tackling the issue on scholarships, future plans for scholarships are geared toward incoming students for recruitment purposes. Rates are based on tuition and what other competitor schools offer. Budgets must be made accordingly in creating the right price point for scholarships to retain students. As for scholarships for international students, availability is limited but will be looked into.
While the topic on housing has always been addressed at the student forums that USGA has held, there were new concerns brought up. Adding new residence halls will continue to be similar building designs as the existing residence halls, stacked and compact, because it is more cost effective. Also, the next residence hall will serve freshmen students only as part of scholarship stipulations and also to promote more socialization for the incoming students—something housing administrators referred to as “Housing Continuum.”
Concerning tripling—three residents in one room—and overnight guests, policies and other options will be addressed in the future.
Some of us know that HUC will be renovated next year, which means that Blazer Café will not be open. Dining plans will include food trucks and other mobile units as alternative locations for food purchases. Meal plans, BlazerBucks, and Dining Dollars will be accommodated as payment methods from students. In addition, administrators will be looking into adding vegetable options and including more Asian cuisine in the mix.
During the Campus Safety portion of the forum, USGA Senator Brian Butler, brought up the concern of the mock shooting drill. Administrators responded by stating that lessons were learned. Through the test, they found out that the message needed to be given promptly and more clearly.
As to the Wi-Fi issues experienced in the dorms, especially Apple products users, administrators have advised to have the issues reported to the AskIT department. It will be easier for them to pinpoint where the problems are if more problem work orders are submitted.