Parking concerns and the rising cost of housing took the top spots on Student Government’s forum survey conducted Feb. 21.
This year SG took a different approach to gaining student feedback, which proved more successful than previous years. Last year, SG gathered student organization leaders and hosted a discussion. However, not much feedback resulted.
This time around, SG focused on the general body, and approximately 60 students came forward to voice concerns, such as parking, campus promotions and advertising, housing fees, surveillance and safety, wireless Internet access and printing in the SG computer lab.
It also asked students what concerns they have about student organizations. Many organizations feel they are underfunded and find it difficult to get rooms for meetings and events.
Laura Klosterman, a member of the debate team, said the club practices in a storage box-filled room in the Student Services building.
“One time they had an art show going on in there, and we had to do our debate between art projects,” Klosterman said.
Although less than 1 percent of the Tampa campus enrollment responded, senator and Organizational Outreach Committee Chair Julie Baumann still plans to announce the top concerns to the SG senate. According to Baumann, the prevailing major issues will be made known to the executive branch after senate discussions.
However, student voices may continue to be ignored because of their choice of words.
“Being how a lot of complaints were very vague, we can’t do very much with that,” Baumann said.
According to Baumann, if students think their concerns are crucial enough for SG to do something about, they need to contact their elected SG members or fill out a comment card at the SG office.
The other common responses were grouped into categories. Safety on campus and Residence Services took the third and fourth spots on the lists. Students surveyed want surveillance cameras installed in common areas to reduce property damage expenses being extended to all on-campus residents.
After the fatal shooting of Ronald Stem near the Magnolia Apartments in February, Coordinator of the Counseling Center for Human Development Olga Skalkos said there was an increase in the number of students who visited the center.
“Some people came in with an awareness that they didn’t have before, that there is no absolute on safety,” she said.
Other students want to see more locations on campus provide wireless Internet access. Coverage encompasses most academic buildings but not the areas outside them.
Students also want the SG computer lab to provide more free prints. It provides students with 30 black-and-white prints per day, 10 of which can be color. Students said some type of rollover plan should be enacted.
SG gains feedback throughout the year by conducting open forums, providing comment cards and speaking at orientations.