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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Weekly SGA senate brief: Jan. 31, 2024

Chloe Almendarez / Managing Editor
The SGA senate held their second meeting of the semester this week.

Here’s what happened at the Student Government Association’s formal senate meeting on Jan. 31, 2024.

Legislative report

  • Senators Max Hoelker and Austin Lane are working with Tom Sullivan, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, to address on-campus laundry services maintenance and improvement;
  • Senator Luis Rios is meeting with Student Involvement leadership to continue working on Senate Resolution 05, to establish an on-campus dog park;
  • Senator Luis Rios is working with psych society to establish mental health awareness legislation;
  • Senator Michelle Ramirez announced plans to revisit a legislative initiative to establish a book club box on campus.

Judicial report

Chief Justice Hailey Green reviewed common reasons students receive on-campus parking citations and reminded students to be aware of the following parking guidelines to avoid being ticketed.

ParkATX spots are to be paid for by the hour. Even if students have St. Edward’s parking passes, they will need to pay ParkATX when parking in these spots. Orange “reserved lots” and the faculty lot located between the Recreation and Athletic Center and Trustee Hall are never available for student use, even after 5 p.m.

Big Event report

  • Big Event site leader applications are now open and will be open until Feb. 19;
  • Big Event participation registration will open on Feb. 12.

Special orders: Guest speakers

The senate was joined by Bon Appétit at St. Edward’s general manager Elvin Lubrin and assistant general manager Kella Tyson. Tyson gave a presentation to overview updates on campus dining services. 

Tyson reviewed Bon Appétit’s fall 2023 highlights including:

  • The opening of Meadow’s Coffeehouse featuring Starbucks “We Proudly Serve” products; 
  • The soft re-opening of Equity Hall Cafe in November; 
  • The revamp of South Congress Market and the transition to an all-you-can-eat style buffet at Hunt Dining Hall;
  • Increase in overall participation at all dining services by faculty and staff;
  • The busiest day of the semester was “Friendsgiving.”

In fall 2023, Bon Appétit cultivated campus engagement and community relationships by:

  • Expanding sustainability efforts by switching to and promoting the use of reusable dishware in dining halls;
  • Establishing a food committee that meets once a month and works closely with SGA President Mikayla Pastrano;
  • Nurturing partnerships with Residence Life and SEU athletics.

“Student engagement and community building is at the heart of what all we do,” Tyson said.

Changes made to dining services in Spring 2024 are as follows:

Tyson then detailed Bon Appétit’s plans for the spring 2024 semester. In general, Bon Appétit will have breakfast all day in Hunt Hall on Feb. 22, March 21 and April 25, and Double Punch Friday at Meadows Coffeehouse every fourth Friday of the month, where students may get double punches on their beverage punch cards.

Bon Appétit will also be hosting month by month special events and themes throughout the semester.  Month by month, these events and themes will include:

At the end of the presentation, Tyson opened up the floor to a Q&A with members of the senate and the gallery. Here are the main takeaways from the Q&A:

  • The hot food oven in Meadows coffeehouse is often broken, and this is due to the computer system. Bon Appétit is currently looking into using their warranty to replace the oven;
  • To gain campus wide feedback, Bon Appétit is contributing questions to a campus-wide survey to be distributed to all residential students. Responses will inform future semesters;
  • Students are always able to request gluten-free buns and corn tortillas at dining halls;
  • Students expressed interest in expanding inclusive cuisine options. Bon Appétit is still researching the best ways to implement inclusive cuisine but detailed the current options. Kosher items are currently being sold at the Grab and Goat, and dining halls have halal chicken options, but students will need to request it when they want it;
  • When prompted about ramadan-friendly options, Bon Appétit said that they will look to meet with Muslim students to discuss their needs and implement appropriate food options for them;
  • Having a Starbucks “We Proudly Serve” means that Meadows Coffeehouse does serve Starbucks recipes and drinks, but it is not an official Starbucks location and is not authorized to sell the full Starbucks menu; 
  • In reference to the current Starbucks boycott in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the non-Starbucks coffee option available on campus is the Coffee Traders drip coffee in Hunt Hall and the South Congress Market. 

Tyson and Lubrin informed students that their feedback from Fall 2023 was very influential on the choices they made for Spring 2024, and feedback is always appreciated. Feedback can be received through email, comment cards and in person.

“Changes may not happen immediately, but just know that we are listening,” Lubrin said. “We are looking at how to pivot and change. We are constantly looking for what we can do to make things better.” 

Bon Appétit is currently hiring students for part-time positions as cooks, cashiers, baristas and a marketing administrative assistant starting at $12.75 an hour. To apply, students may contact Kella Tyson at [email protected].

To find out more about menus, events, sustainability efforts, job opportunities, or to provide feedback, you can visit the Bon Appétit at St. Edward’s website.

New business

  • A funding request from Best Buddies for a February Social on Feb. 12 in the Maloney Room (approved).
  • A funding request from Psych Society to host a guest speaker event featuring Melissa Velez, Ph.D., on Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. in the Maloney room (approved).

The meeting concluded at 7:54 p.m. with a final roll call.

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Chloe Almendarez
Chloe Almendarez, Managing Editor
Chloe Almendarez is a senior Psychology major with a minor in Education Studies. This is their second year working with "Hilltop Views" as Managing Editor. They are passionate about exploring education and equity. For all advertisement and business inquiries, you may contact them at [email protected]

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