Previously, on SGA: The low-down on dining shift and Canvas

The following covers the meeting of Feb. 22


Climate Check:

Sophomore Senator Ella Charbonnet opened climate check with an announcement that the Free Food Friday Committee would be collaborating with the South Asian Student Association (SASA) to hand out falooda on March 3 at 11:20 a.m. in front of the library.

President Danny Nguyen asked the Senate for student reactions to the shift from Aramark to Chartwells. Sophomore Senator Harrison Tinker reported having a conversation with a dining employee who went on a “tirade” about how the new dining provider will most likely discontinue the token system that allows students to take food out of the dining hall in a to-go box.

Junior Senator Danae Barkocy reported hearing positive student reactions and students who felt uninformed and had two questions: what constitutes a frontline employee and whether managers will lose their job or be transferred. Sophomore Senator Ani Siva, who served on the Request for Proposal (RFP) committee, stated that students would be able to ask questions and share concerns about the new dining provider at a town hall meeting on Feb. 28 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in the Fiesta Room. Senator Siva also stated that Einstein’s Bros. Bagels and Starbucks would be staying on campus, but, as Revolve is an Aramark concept and Sandwich Shack is an internal Aramark brand, they will both be replaced. However, a concept similar to Revolve will most likely take its place. Senator Siva explained that he will be serving on a new RFP subcommittee that will determine new dining options based on student feedback.

President Nguyen asked the Senate about student reactions regarding the shift from TLearn to Canvas. Senator Tinker stated that some students want to know why the university isn’t making a hard switch to Canvas for the fall semester. Senator Siva stated that some students have questions about the future of TigerPaws. President Nguyen stated that TigerPaws will be transitioning to Workday sometime in the future. Senator Tinker also mentioned student concern regarding data privacy issues with Canvas, including but not limited to test proctoring concerns. President Nguyen explained that Canvas’ test proctoring feature tracks if the user switches tabs or if the computer falls asleep. Junior Senator Kyle Rubovits asked whether SGA had voted on the switch to Canvas, citing concerns about the tab switch tracking. Sophomore Senator Allison Waters explained to Senator Rubovits that SGA did not vote on this issue. First-year Senator Lacey Miller reported that some faculty who use TLearnare upset about the switch.

Senator Barkocy pointed out that many students are not familiar with Canvas and questioned why the school would choose not to switch all at once. Senator Tinker said, “TLearn was developed by a toddler,” before stating his opinion that it would be more beneficial for students to transition to Canvas over the summer and make the new platform mandatory in the fall. President Nguyen explained that summer courses would be piloting the Canvas platform, faculty will be given the choice to either use TLearn or Canvas during the fall semester and in spring 2024 the switch to Canvas would be mandatory. After first-year Senator Sameed Aijaz pointed out that students may have to log into Canvas for some classes and log into TLearn for others, President Nguyen acknowledged that the transition period will be chaotic. LRC Dario Leal pointed out that some faculty still use Google Classroom.

Senator Charbonnet announced the menstrual dispensers have been installed and expects them to be filled by Feb. 23.

Senator Siva informed the senate about two ongoing projects to revamp greenspaces on campus. The first project is to repair the broken valve in the CSI sky garden to revive the space; Senator Siva is working with Blaine Martin, sophomore, on this project. The second project is the library beautification project which would make the patio on the fourth floor of the library a dedicated greenspace. Senator Siva explained that he thinks SGA should play a role in facilitating the project and possibly funding it — citing it as an opportunity to have a positive impact on the student government through public works. President Nguyen suggested the possibility of combining the library beautification project with other proposed initiatives, such as adding picnic tables to upper campus, to create a larger campus beautification project.

Officer Updates:

President Nguyen stated that alumni relations and development reached out to SGA because corporate recruitment for Love’s is interested in meeting with members of the student government on Feb. 28. President Nguyen also stated that he thinks he may be able to secure invites for interested business students, but requested that the senators “don’t spread it around too much.”

President Nguyen announced a town hall meeting focused on the new dining changes on Feb. 28 in the Fiesta Room from 4:00-5:00 p.m. where students will be able to ask questions about the upcoming transition to members of the RFP committee.

President Nguyen announced the possibility of providing mental health and first aid training to student organization leaders. Senator Siva asked if this training would be accessible to all students. President Nguyen stated that they are still in the preliminary stages of planning.

President Nguyen stated that the women’s basketball team may be hosting SCAC playoffs, and that Eric Maloof, vice president for enrollment management, may ask SGA to sponsor postseason tickets so that students can attend the games for free.

President Nguyen announced that student leadership elections for 2023-24 are coming up. All student organizations are required to declare their new student leadership by April 1. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, Secretary Alexis Aguallo, Chief of Staff Emily King and senior Senator Molly Sheridan will oversee the SGA election. Senators must run again and attend an information session to keep their positions. The application will open on March 20 and close March 24. Voting and campaigning will run from March 27-29, and results will be announced March 31. President Nguyen clarified that anyone with a junior or senior standing based on credit hours can run for President or Vice President.

President Nguyen led the senate in a round of applause for the sophomore senators who declared their majors.

LRC Leal announced that the FYE coordinator search committee hopes to fill the position before spring break.

DEI Chair Avery Lim announced that SGA would be partnering with international student and scholar services (ISSS) to host events to let students learn more about different countries and cultures, as well as encourage people to engage with international students. The first event, focused on the study abroad opportunity in Ecuador, will most likely be in late March.