In the coming Spring semester, Colgate’s Student Government Association (SGA) is planning to implement several new initiatives that have been in the works for months. The SGA hopes that each of these new initiatives will greatly convenience the Colgate student body. Included in SGA plans are a new Colgate Cruiser schedule, extended library hours, a student-led response to the Campus Climate Survey, a user-friendly Colgate event calendar and a comprehensive off-campus housing database.
First and foremost, an overhaul of the Cruiser schedule and issues related to its accessibility is a matter that is expected to receive final approval this semester and will go into effect as early as the beginning of next semester.
“The [Cruiser] schedule that was passed out has been acknowledged as incorrect,” SGA President Mike Schneider senior said. “Hopefully the new schedule will be more accurate, more reliable and [the Cruiser will] have better stops and also extended express hours.”
A new cruiser route would include added stops at the Newell apartments and the intersection of Broad St. and Kendrick Ave. Additional changes involve an express Cruiser to and from the Newell apartments and route schedules posted both in the Cruiser and at each stop.
The cruiser currently runs on a thirty-minute schedule, which rushes the drivers and does not allow enough time for stops and for traffic. If tests on a new schedule prove successful, the Cruiser will run on a forty-minute schedule, which will almost guarantee timely service.
Another issue, which through SGA surveys has been deemed to be of utmost importance to the student body, is extended hours for Case Library and the Hieber Café. The café, which is currently closed on Saturdays and open from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Sundays, provides unsatisfactory and impractical hours according to students surveyed.
Schneider, along with Vice President of SGA senior Matt Muskin, expect Dining Services to be receptive to extending café hours due to overwhelming student disapproval of the current schedule – 96.5% of students would like the café to be open earlier on Sundays, according to a survey.
Another item on the SGA agenda is to facilitate the creation of a student-produced document in response to the Campus Climate Survey.
“These issues [presented in the Campus Climate Survey] won’t be resolved in a single semester, so we want to make sure there is some sort of institution, plan or organizational structure put in place so we can continue working on this,” Schneider said.
The current plan of action is to compile a document that recognizes the problems identified in the Campus Climate Survey, lays out an idea of what an ideal campus environment would look like and outlines a plan of action to make this ideal a reality through the implementation of campus events and concrete plans to alter the climate.
“Both students and administrators are pretty nervous that the most response and the only response [to the Campus Climate Survey] is going to be coming from the side of the administration,” Muskin said.
To legitimize the document, SGA plans to use a network of 130 student groups and organizations and a series of focus groups to build the document and make it as accurate a representation of the diverse Colgate student body as possible. Both Schneider and Muskin emphasized that the document will not be the product of a small group of students and their opinions, but instead a fully comprehensive and honest representation of student sentiment. The document is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
In February or March of 2010, SGA hopes to launch a Global Student Calendar.
“The general problem now is that you have these campus distribution e-mails, no ones reads them, they are not even discernable and no one knows what’s going on [around] campus. And at the same time students are over-programmed because there are a million things going on, but no one knows about them,” Schneider said.
To solve this problem, the SGA hopes to work with Information Technology Services (ITS) to develop a user-friendly calendar that will allow students to search Colgate events by specific criteria like date, location and type. Students will also have the ability to conveniently update the calendar with events themselves. The goal of the Global Calendar is to increase student awareness of and attendance at the goings-on on campus.
Another initiative on the horizon is a directory of off-campus housing options. SGA is working with both students and landlords to compile a comprehensive list of all available housing including rent and utility prices. The directory will hopefully allow students to get fair deals on housing and eliminate the guesswork from the entire process.