Previously, on SGA: Biance talks housing and free laundry

The following covers the meeting on March 8.


Climate Check:

Sophomore Senator Ani Siva opened climate check by inviting senators to help with tabling efforts to gather student opinions on dining options.

Sophomore Senator Harrison Tinker brought up a concern that the whiteboard tiles in the Center for the Sciences and Innovation (CSI) are “disgusting,” and asked whether they can be cleaned. President Danny Nguyen advised Senator Tinker to reach out to Leslie F. Bleamaster III, science facilities manager.

Staff Chat:

SGA invited Bret Biance, director of Residential Life, to speak at their meeting. Biance informed SGA of the upcoming renovations to Thomas and Lightner. The first phase of the renovations will be completed over the summer and will include redoing the bathrooms and updating the bedrooms to have blinds, freestanding desks and laminated flooring instead of carpet. Biance stated that the rooms would look like those in Prassel. The first phase of renovation will also include updates to the plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems. Phase one is expected to be complete before the August move-in date. The second phase of renovations will occur next year and focus on sustainability measures.

Biance also gave a rundown of what the room selection process for the 2024-25 school year will look like. Biance began by disclaiming that there are limitations with the housing software, and although they are in the process of making adjustments that will hopefully streamline the process, Residential Life wants to verify that the updates work before announcing any changes to the software.

According to Biance, students can expect to receive an email on March 19 detailing the housing selection process. The housing portal will be active starting on March 20 for students to select their roommates and suitemates, and room selection times will be given on March 28. Each housing unit will be able to select their room during the student with the earliest time slot’s assigned time.

In the past, room selection occurred in five-minute intervals, but Biance stated that he was confident that the updated housing software will allow students to have a full hour to make their selections. Rising junior room selections will occur on April 4 and 5. Rising senior room selections will occur on April 6. Rising sophomores will make their room selections on April 7. Students who miss their registration time will still have access to the system and will be able to register the next day.

Biance also explained that Residential Life expects to house 150 seniors on campus next year, although that number could be as high as 190 if seniors are willing to wait for openings after study abroad plans are finalized. In City Vista, 110 beds will be held for seniors.

For students who are not able to choose housing in their preferred building, there will be an option to put their names on a waitlist; spots will be given on a rolling basis as spaces become available.

Senator Tinker asked if rising seniors currently living in City Vista would have the option to keep that same room. Biance explained that it would not be an option, as the City Vista contracts end in May.

First-year Ashleigh Reese asked when students with housing accommodations would make housing selections. Reese also asked if building preference would be considered for students with accommodations. Biance explained that students with accommodations receive room assignments first in order to make sure that Residential Life can meet their accommodations, which is a priority over building preference. However, there are some rooms that won’t be able to meet the student’s needs. Biance stated that he was working with the legal department and student accessibility services to provide accommodations. Biance also stated that they will work towards meeting ADA goals during the renovation process for Thomas and Lightner.

Senator Tinker asked if the housing prices on the university website had been updated. Biance stated that the prices have not been updated, but they should be by next week. Biance also explained that, although there will be a price hike, he felt they were successful in maintaining as low of an adjustment as possible. Biance also stated that washing machines should be free next year.

Advisor Demi Brown asked where internship and summer-school students would be housed over the summer. Biance stated that summer housing would be facilitated in Witt-Winn this year.

Junior Senator Kyle Rubovits asked if the vents in Thomas and Lightner would be updated and cited concerns about mold growing in the vents. Advisor Brown explained that the growth on the vents was mildew, not mold. Biance stated that the HVAC system would be addressed this summer and that during his time at Trinity, the school has never had a lab test come back positive for mold.

Senator Siva asked if everything was still on track for the installation of water bottle-filling stations in every residential building. Biance confirmed that facilities agreed to have a station installed in every building by the end of the summer.

Senator Rubovits asked about the rationale for the three-year living requirement. Biance explained that the residency requirement is determined by the Board of Trustees and not residential life.

Constitution Review:

The constitutional review was postponed until March 29 because only 15 out of 30 SGA members were in attendance at this meeting. Further, one of the proposed changes would create confusion surrounding the information that has been sent to the student body regarding SGA elections. If approved by the student body, the undisclosed changes will apply to the 2024-25 election cycle.