SG discusses affordable housing


President William Powers addressed Student Government about concerns over affordable housing for students on Tuesday evening. He believes students who live on campus for their first two years are more likely to have successful academic careers. 

Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

President William Powers Jr. addressed affordable housing and the future of the Dell Medical School at a student government
meeting Tuesday.

“There’s a lot of challenges on the campus,” Powers said. “[SG] faces them to try to make the University a
better place.”

Student body president Horacio Villarreal said Powers attends at least one SG meeting a year to thank the students for their leadership and service on the campus.

After government senior Cortney Sanders raised concerns about more available affordable housing for students at the University, Powers said he thinks freshmen and sophomores who live on campus are much more likely to be successful in their
academic careers.

“More beds have been added in West Campus than ever before, but one unanticipated consequence of that is that it’s almost all high-end housing,” Powers said.

Newer complexes in West Campus have been increasing rates by 6-7 percent each year for the past 10 years, according to Richie Gill, real estate broker at, who spoke to The Daily Texan in the fall. The University will be talking to American Campus Communities — which built The Callaway House, an off-campus residence hall in West Campus — to create a more affordable dorm.

“We do not want our low-income students living out away from campus because it’s more affordable,” Powers said. “We want that choice to be theirs.”

With Clay Johnston in place as the inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School, Powers also told SG he hopes to make sure the medical school stays relevant as health care goes through rapid change.

“This is the chance to design a medical school without the ossified past,” Powers said.

To stay on top, he said the new medical school must have the right kind of people to keep
that attitude.

SG also voted 25-1-1 on a bill that would amend the organization’s election code. The new amendment would require candidates to disclose the names of all students working for their campaigns. Most changes made to the amendment would not affect this
year’s candidates.

Villarreal, who is in his final semester as student body president, sent out surveys to gain feedback from students in SG about where they hope to see the direction of organization to head. He said the results showed that students hoped to see it involve itself more in academic services.

“We don’t know exactly what that will look like,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal and student body vice president Ugeo Williams will discuss these plans Wednesday.