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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: March 27, 2024

Chloe Almendarez / Managing Editor
Jim Morris, Assistant Vice President of University Operations, joined the senate meeting to emphasize information about Campus Safety.

Here’s what happened at the Student Government Association’s Formal Senate Meeting on March 27, 2024.

Executive report

Student Government Association President Mikayla Pastrano announced that the Student Government election applications are now open and can be submitted via Collegiate Link. The link can also be located in SGA’s Instagram bio. The deadline to submit an application is March 29 at 11:59 p.m. 

Legislative report

  • Senator Michelle Ramirez announced that she is currently working with Erica Zamora, Director of the Office of Student Belonging and Inclusive Excellence, to implement inclusive training for SGA members into SGA legislation; 
  • Senator Nick Walker gave thanks to everyone who attended the Safety Walk on March 6 and recognizes areas of improvements that were found on the walk. Walker will continue working with Jim Morris, Assistant Vice President of University Operations, and the campus sustainability team to further develop long term safety solutions; 
  • Senator Maria Baltazar informed the senate that the Affordable Connectivity program did not receive funding from Congress, so the program will be closed. Due to this, legislation Baltazar was working on involving the Affordable Connectivity program will now shift in a different direction;
  • SGA Vice President Justin Trevino revealed current plans to implement legislation celebrating a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) day. This would create a yearly event to celebrate the achievements and importance of the program. 

Judicial report

Chief Justice Hailey Green noted an increase in parking tickets, but they were minor incidents and many of the tickets were waived. 

Guest Speakers

University Police Department (UPD) Chief Homer Huerta joined Morris in a presentation to explain their roles on campus. One  talking point was exploring campus partnerships. (Chloe Almendarez / Managing Editor)

The senate was joined by Morris and University Police Department (UPD) Chief Homer Huerta to give a refresher on information regarding Campus Safety and what their roles are at St. Edward’s. In their presentation Morris and Huerta:

  • Emphasized UPD’s goals to build trust, fulfill commitments to shared governance and work with the St. Edwards community;
  • Affirmed an understanding that the university is composed of people from many diverse backgrounds;
  • Highlighted their commitment to holding UPD and Campus Safety accountable;
  • Expressed the desire to build rapport with students and the community so they feel comfortable approaching the UPD with any concerns;
  • Reviewed a list of campus partners of which UPD is in collaboration with, including Student Affairs, Residence Life, Facilities and shared governance leadership;
  • Described quarterly collaborations with city, state and federal law enforcement agencies to share information;
  • Discussed UPD’s strategy for community engagement. This includes a community policing model that has a team based approach. In this model, UPD works to have frequent and consistent communication with the SEU community, host events like “Pizza with Police” and to introduce themselves to new students and families. All of these actions aim to engage the campus community;
  • Detailed strategies and resources to ensure campus safety. This includes 24/7 staffing, frequent training and drills, blue light phones available around campus, safewalk and police escorts, Automatic Electronic Defibrillators kits that contain Narcan, license plate readers at each entrance and many cameras stationed around campus that monitor for safety;
  • Thoroughly explained the different safety features available for student use on the TopperSafe app;
  • Listed tools that are intended for agency and empowerment. This includes attending Campus Safety events, subscribing to the universities emergency notification system and following campus safety’s social media;
  • Informed the senate and attendees on the Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, the Clery Act is a federal law named after Jeanne Clery, a student who was murdered in her dorm by a fellow student. The Act requires any and all campus crimes to be reported, which you can find here, and affirmed UPD and Campus Safety’s adherence to the act;
  • Reviewed the events of parking garage break ins from early 2023 and the measures that have been implemented to combat similar events from happening in the future. This includes the addition of red and blue flashing lights in the parking garage. According to Huerta, these measures have been effective so far;
  • Encouraged students to apply for the Student Patrol program. 


The meeting concluded with a final roll call at 7:55 p.m.

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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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