What Does Starting Now Look Like?
Diversity and Inclusion at the
University of North Texas
Representation of all races, genders, sexual orientations, etc. are critically important in the accurate representation of students at UNT. We must work with students to ensure that underrepresented populations feel welcomed and are able to be involved in decision-making processes. Inclusion is the next step after diversity, and that’s something our campaign is passionately working towards every day.
Fight for a more diverse faculty and staff at the University of North Texas.
Host town halls with the UNT Administration and the public on problems regarding race and discrimination regularly, not just when issues make headlines.
Advocate for additional funding for minority-focused organizations.
Pushing for additional resources for LGBTQIA+ students in addition to all other personal identities which face obstacles towards success.
Consistently review University policies, in coordination with advocacy committees, to identify specific areas of concern or discrimination which must be addressed.
Addressing Transportation Concerns
Transportation is an issue that affects all students at UNT, whether you are a commuter, resident, or simply a pedestrian crossing a street. Our campaign will fight to ensure that fair policies are enacted regarding parking, transit, and pedestrian safety. We will also work with the transportation department develop policies that are conscientious of the financial needs of students and the daily activities that students regularly participate in.
Review the 2016 Parking and Transportation Master Plan with the Transportation department to ensure that the policies which the department pursues are beneficial for everyone.
Work with Transportation to ensure they have the resources needed to increase alternative transit availability such as for busing and carpool options.
Work with the Transportation department to evaluate a payment plan-like structure for purchasing parking passes, which can be incredibly expensive.
Advocate for the return of an affordable public bike share program like Veoride, which recently suspended service at UNT.
Make the SGA safety tour results publicly available. These tours give SGA members a chance to see what parts of campus need to be fixed or to identify where there are safety concerns.
Mental Health Initiatives
Mental health is an issue that is important to address as students at UNT. During an era of unprecedented pressure from large-scale events like the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health is something we must prioritize and protect.
Work with the Counseling and Testing Services Center (CTS) to retain our accreditation with the IACS (International Accreditation of Counseling Services) again through proper funding.
Work with UNT Administration to develop policies that recognize the importance of mental health when it comes to being a student.
Develop a focus group with the CTS to assess the general mental state of the Student Body annually.
Promote and coordinate with organizations dedicated to mental health.
Bringing Students to the Table
Those who serve in the SGA are responsible for representing you. That doesn't mean that students shouldn't be involved though! Our campaign would make tangible and unprecedented moves to ensure that students who wouldn't normally have the same kind of access as SGA members are able to participate in the deliberative process at the UNT Administration level. We want students to be involved in the decision-making process at UNT!
Creating more committee seats in Departmental and University-wide committees so that students who normally don't have the same kind of access to UNT administration as others in the SGA have the opportunity to speak during the decision-making process.
Ensure that our Senate meetings are more readily advertised and available to the Student Body, as well as making more Executive Branch meetings public.
Advocate for more opportunities for students to be involved in the decision-making processes at the administration level.
Developing an Organizational Coalition through the Eagle's Council
The Eagle's Council is our plan to promote coordination and collaboration between organizations of all types and sizes throughout the University of North Texas. The Eagle's Council will fundamentally change the way organizations coalesce to address concerns and represent interests that affect their memberships. The Student Government Association mission is to connect students with something to say with UNT Administration. We know that the Eagle's Council will help fulfill that mission for all UNT students who want to be heard within their organizations.
Submit a proposal for a joint-referendum with GSC for all students to vote on by the end of Fall 2021.
Should the referendum pass, we will begin implementing the Eagle's Council before the end of Spring 2022.
Combatting COVID-19 Together
The COVID-19 pandemic is one that has directly impacted many students at UNT, and indirectly impacted the rest of us. Our administration would work closely with the UNT administration to protect the interests and safety of all students at UNT when it comes to policy development and execution.
Working with the UNT Administration to share information in as timely of a manner as possible related to COVID-19 and how to protect oneself from it.
Advocate for the safe return to normal campus activities. We want to see students walking across the graduation stage and cheering at football games, but we want to make sure students are doing so safely.
Promote and utilize vaccination centers on campus and in the Denton community.
Tackling Environmental Concerns as a Community
As citizens of a global community, every person must do their part to protect the Earth. This means making cognizant efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and work to make our daily routines sustainable. We will coordinate with the UNT Sustainability Office to ensure a safe and healthy environment for those studying at UNT.
Partner with the Sustainability Office to promote protecting our environment.
Develop initiatives to keep our campus clean and environmentally friendly.
Offer community service opportunities to the public in coordination with Keep Denton Beautiful. Active SGA members would also contribute to this service.
Review University policies and actions for environmental concerns.
Proactive Representation of the
The SGA is a voice for all who come to learn at UNT. However, representatives in the SGA are students just like you and me. We will encourage and empower representatives in the SGA to reach out and proactively learn about issues affecting students regardless of college or background. In order for the SGA to represent you, there needs to be people in the SGA who are actively reaching out and listening to you.
Hosting town halls with Senators and the public to hear what you have to say.
Develop new and innovative ideas for outreach.
Classroom visits, when approved by the professor, to ensure that the Student Body knows how they can be best represented, and can express their concerns.
Hosting frequent events (complying with COVID-19 regulations) for the Student Body to enjoy.
Student Service Fees
The President of the Student Government Association serves as the chair of the Student Service Fees (SSF) Committee, which allocates and distributes SSF money (from mandatory tuition fees) to certain entities and groups. As the next SGA Administration, we will prioritize the following:
North Texas Daily funding - There has been a consistent effort to wean the NT Daily off of SSF funding. We believe in the power of independent journalism as a check on the Student Government Association and on the UNT Administration. We support funding the NT Daily with SSF money to better serve the UNT community.
Counseling and Testing Center funding - The CTS is funded by SSF money. While we believe that CTS should be funded by UNT's general revenue rather than SSF, we will ensure that CTS receives adequate funding as part of our commitment to improving mental health on campus.
The Multicultural Center - The MC is a vital resource for many students at UNT, yet they are consistently underfunded and lack appropriate resources to best serve students. We will ensure that the funding that the MC receives will help it, and the students it serves, thrive.
Accountability and Transparency Within the SGA and Beyond
The SGA must take real and actionable steps to ensure an environment of transparency for the betterment of all students at UNT. This means creating a system by which transparency can be ensured, regardless of who is in office. For us, it’s not enough to just say we want transparency, we must take meaningful steps to that end.
Establish the Office of the Inspector General to ensure independent and fair accountability standards for all in the SGA.
Regularly update the SGA website and other resources with what the SGA has been doing.
Host some town halls for the sole purpose of students holding the SGA accountable.
Creating a running budget expenditure list so that everyone can see, in real time, what the SGA is spending money on.
The Texas Student Government Coalition
The Texas Student Government Coalition is a group of multiple student governments who work to represent the interests of students across the state of Texas in the state and federal legislature. Your representation shouldn't stop at the university level. We should speak loudly and clearly to the state and federal government about Texas student needs and goals.
Pass a bill permanently establishing the UNT SGA as an organizational member of the TSGC.
Ensure that such membership is in the best interest of the UNT SGA and that it should come at little to no cost to the SGA budget.
Making the SGA More Accessible
The SGA historically has not had enough of its meetings available to the public. With COVID-19 influencing the way that organizations on campus operate, the SGA must be adaptable. We will work to ensure that all meeting in which there is a recording are captioned. The SGA will work closely with the ODA to ensure that the needs of all of our students are met when it comes to accessibility and the SGA.
Build a table of contents, or timestamps, into our Senate videos for easy access to specific sections of meetings.
Work to keep the SGA office staffed as often as possible, so that there's always someone you can talk to.
Make captioning available for all recorded meetings of the SGA.
When necessary, ensuring our meetings have a sign language interpreter.