Hello, Longhorns! Since our term began last spring, we’ve been working hard to create changes that make student life at the University of Texas safer, more convenient and all around better than ever. As promised, we have accomplished several of our platform points, and we are pleased to detail some of the tangible benefits that we’ve helped implement thus far on behalf of students on this campus.
The first of these benefits is SafeRide! By working with the company URide, with funding provided by the Office of the President, Student Government has created a free, alternative method to help students get home safely at night from downtown. In addition, at the beginning of this semester, we began a pilot program with URide which offered students free rides home from the PCL late at night. We are excited to announce that due to the success of the pilot program, this service will be expanding operations to 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. This will enable students to go to the PCL and study for as long as they need to without having to worry about getting home safely.
Another new development is the Longhorn Advocates Program. This is a group of 31 students, paired with 31 UT alumni, who meet with the 31 members of the Texas Senate. We created this program with the intent of magnifying student involvement and presence at the Capitol. We believe that this program will help us build and maintain a strong relationship with our state legislators, and we expect several positive benefits for students around the state in years to come as this program grows.
As of now, the FAC will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Last spring, one of our major platform points was to provide students with safer, more convenient locations for students to study and further their academic pursuits. A fellow student, Alex Dickey, suggested that we consider the FAC for this purpose. We officially announced the opening earlier this week, and we are excited for the benefits that students will receive from this initiative. Keep an eye out for info on the kickoff event later this week.
Currently, we are in the process of working with Texas Athletics to help improve the gameday experience. Through the creation of a student leader group which meets specifically with administrators in the athletics department, we hope to establish a channel of open communication between UT students and Texas Athletics. In addition, we are also discussing the possibility of an on-campus student tailgate with Athletics.
Furthermore, we are pleased to announce the success of our Thanksgiving Break initiative. By working with Staff Council, Faculty Council and the University Academic Calendar Committee, we have extended the break to include the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, beginning in 2018. This will provide students with an extra day to travel home and spend time with their families during the Thanksgiving Holiday.
I, along with the rest of the Student Government Executive Board, am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve students and to have accomplished several of the platform points on which we originally campaigned. If anyone has any ideas or any changes they would like to see happen, feel free to stop by the Student Government Office in SAC 2.102, and chat with with us, or contact us on Facebook or Twitter (@ut_sg).
Rady is a government and corporate communication senior from Houston.