September 30, 2014

Delegates’ Agenda proposes solutions to campus issues

The Delegates Agenda is a process in which students can advocate to the administration issues they feel important on Webster University’s campus. The administration then responds to all the presentations within a month.

Turbo Vote

Presented by Casslyn Crain (junior international relations major, student ambassadors and Delta Pie Epsilon)

Gabrielle Deineke (sophomore, photography major, SGA, American Sign language Association)

What it is:

  • Turbo Vote aims to make voting easy for local elections.
  • In 2010 two graduates of the Kennedy school government association founded Turbo Vote.
  • Turbo Vote Partners with universities to provide students with information and forms they need to vote in every election, including a pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope.
  • Turbo Vote’s goal is to institutionalize voting in all universities in America by fall 2013.
  • Turbo Vote prompts students to register to vote online. Turbo vote also sends text and email reminders of elections.
  • Turbo Vote does not support a political party.

Why:

  • The initiatives Webster’s currently taking includes; providing new voter registration forms at the UC front desk, west hall and WVA, providing shuttles for students during major elections to voter locations, providing a trained staff member to help students register to vote, and holding election parties.
  • The delegates believe Turbo Vote will get Webster students involved in the community, and eventually have student leadership in the community.

What it calls for:

  • The goal is to acquire Turbo Vote by spring of 2014 on Webster Groves campus, and eventually nationwide campuses.

Casslyn Crain said she believes Webster needs Turbo vote, because it would help students become leaders.

“You know when you have a say in what’s going on in your community, I think that’s definitely being a leader,” said Casslyn Crain.

Housing On Campus

Presented by Syreel Mishra (Sophomore, International relations major, SGA, International Student Association)

Christopher Whitmore (Senior Political Science major, Student Ambassadors, Multicultural Center, International Student Affairs, & The Department of Housing and Residential Life)

The Problem:

  • Webster does not have enough on-campus housing for student demand.
  • Currently Webster’s campus is housing 732 students with an additional ten students in university-leased apartments in the Chambering Apartment Complex.
  • Nine rooms in East Hall have three people living in them, the first time it has ever been done.
  • Twenty-five percent of the student population is living on campus, 75 percent of undergraduates are still commuting.
  • Sixty-seven percent of freshmen live on campus.
  • Almost 1,889 students applied for on-campus housing this semester.
  • There are 138 students on a waiting list, 96 of those students are freshmen or new transfer students.
  • Last month 5 foreign exchange programs were implemented, 4 of which are full time programs, meaning students from foreign universities will be living at Webster. Delegates expect this to further increase the problem.
  • Webster’s goal is to increase the undergraduate student population to 5,000 within the next seven years. This is almost double the size of the current undergrad population.

The Plan:

  • Build more on-campus housing.

“If you build a 80,000 square foot interdisciplinary science building, students will come. But, if you add housing on campus you provide a holistic college experience and meet the expectations of Webster university, the students will stay,” said Christopher Whitmore.

Campus Dining

Presented by Jocelyn Cato (Sophomore International Studies major, Latin American Student Organization, International Student Association)

Jon Strauser (sophomore finance major, SGA, Webster Students for Environmental Sustainably & Development, First year experience office)

Ronnie Hampton (Political Science major, Residential life)

The Problem:

  • Changing food services on campus is a slow process.
  • Students not informed on the Dining Advisory Board decisions.
  • The Delegates saw a lack of options for dining at night. They wanted to see an increase in late night dining options.

The Plan:

  • To install allergy and ingredient labels on everything.
  • To bake food instead of frying it.
  • The Simply-to-go carts would have a more varied food selection.
  • The over all food will have higher nutritional content, lower calories, and smaller proportions.
  • To provide more organic food, less carbon products.
  • To reduce the meat intake and carbon process.
  • For Webster and Sodexo to create a mission and plan to improve dining.
  • For better Clear Communication between administration and students.

“Labeling would definitely be a good thing to add so people like me with allergies can be safe. And for me I won’t have my girlfriend taste my cake,” said Ronnie Hampton.

Wellness Initiative

Presented by Stu Macki (Junior, Film Production major, Gorlock Guides, Student Ambassadors)

Tia Hewuse (Sophomore, Communications major, Air Force ROTC, Housing and Residential Life)

The Problem:

  • Webster’s current fitness center was built in 1992. The delegates feel the equipment is outdated or broken and is becoming a liability.

The Plan:

  • Build a new fitness facility. As well as fill in the pool to provide more space for the new facility.
  • Buy new equipment.
  • Hire a fulltime employee to run the Gorlok Fitness club. Currently it is supervised by student employees.
  • Adding a graduate-assistant position to wellness education.
  • Adding a student sub-committee to the Wellness Committee, to bridge gap between faculty and students.

Why:

  • Webster currently has a wellness committee on campus, but it is mostly made up of faculty.
  • Webster also has a Gorlock fitness Club, but the students that run the club are busy.
  • More attractive fitness center can bring in more athletes according to the delegates.

“It’s bigger than revamping the fitness center or getting new equipment. It’s a place for students to interact and get that involvement. If we are satisfied with the current facility that we have that’s what we are telling everyone that comes here. That we’re satisfied with not the best, that we are satisfied with providing less than quality to the students,” said Zeke Spellazza Fitness center supervisor. “We are basically saying as a university, your cares, or your needs are not what we are really trying to provide. If we want that to become our Webster University Persona, then I don’t know if I really want to be a part of that.”

Smoking Issues

Presented by Katie Coats (Senior, Educational Studies major, Delta Pie Epsilon, Student Ambassadors)

Katie Rochester (Senior, Sociology major, Residential Life and Housing, Feminine Collective)

The Problem:

  • It is hard for non-smokers to walk through parts of campus without being near cigarette smoke.
  • Smokers have nowhere to go to smoke during the rain, snow or intense sun.
  • The ‘no smoking 30 feet in front of the door’ rule is not followed by students, faculty, or staff.

The Plan:

  • To create designated areas for smokers that is out of the way of non-smokers and aware of the weather elements.
  • To provide support groups and workshops to help smokers quit.
  • To enforce current smoking policies.

Why:

  • In a survey of freshmen results have consecutively shown Webster’s amount of smokers is above the national average.
  • In the Hidden Student Profile one in four students declares themselves as a smoker.

“I know that coming out of college and being able to proudly say that I quit smoking before I graduated would be a great accomplishment and not only for me, but other students alike,” said Katie Rochester.

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