SGA

The UTSA Student Government Association (SGA) was established in 1976 and has since played a major role in campus life.

Student government is an important part of campus life, yet it seems most students at UTSA don’t pay as close attention as they should.

 “[There is a] misconception that SGA is inaccessible to students,”  Derek Trimm, the newly elected Student Government president, said. “One of our primary focuses for the rest of the semester and summer is to promote SGA around campus so that students understand that they have a voice to administration.”

For students to get involved, it’s important for them to know what they are getting involved with.

SGA is comprised of an officer board of five members, committee chairs and senators from each of the colleges as well as senators from each class level.

 In the last few years SGA has played a part in many of the changes happening on campus.

SGA influenced UTSA’s signing with food provider Aramark, bringing new food franchises to campus such as Chick-fil-A and Chili’s. SGA also passed the Athletics Referendum to be put  to a student vote, paving the way for the funding needed for football. They collaborated with UTSA to begin renovations on the John Peace Library as well as registered over 3,000 UTSA students to vote in the past presidential election.

“Student Government continuously gives valuable input in all areas of campus,” Trimm said.

Trimm, who was elected on March 11 with 68 percent of the vote, has many issues he plans on addressing during his tenure as president. Among those are a Green Fund on April 22, which he describes as a “student led sustainability committee that will focus on green projects around campus to increase the energy efficiency of UTSA.”

Other major issues highlighted by Trimm include the petition to create a wet bar at Chili’s and a committee to make Greek housing a reality at UTSA.

The wet bar at Chili’s has been a source of controversy around UTSA.

 “We find that students will drink regardless of where or how,” he said. If we centralize this consumption and regulate it, students will be able to utilize our shuttle service instead of driving home after a few drinks.”

 The money brought in will also benefit UTSA, because as Trimm explains “UTSA Business Auxiliary Services has a 10 percent commission on any profits generated by Chili’s. That means that 10 percent of whatever profits result from the student purchase of alcohol at Chili’s will go straight back into the betterment of UTSA.”

Creating Greek housing is also on the to-do list, with collaboration between university and city officials, and hopefully members of Greek life. Student government plans to survey members of Greek life about what they would most like to see in Greek housing. Greek housing would also be of benefit to UTSA, as Greek life is a big attraction for universities and gets students involved.

Getting students more involved is the biggest thing SGA hopes to change in the coming years. Members of SGA will be attending freshman orientation sessions over the summer to get more incoming students involved. Starting next semester SGA will have the minutes from their meetings available online to make it easier for students to see what SGA is doing.

As the university expands, the opinion of the students themselves will be very important in the near future. SGA intends to be the voice of students, so its important for them to be involved.

 “Student Government is much more effective when students speak up about the issues that are facing them. Every student is technically a member of student government, so we encourage our students to do their part by letting us know what they would like to see changed at UTSA so that we can do our part to implement that change,” Trimm said.

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