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SGA accomplishes change on capus

By Brandon Blackwell

December 1, 2011

After nearly a full semester in office, Moatasem Al Bitar, Cleveland State student government association president, is transforming the way students study and worship on campus—and there’s more on the way.

“We have accomplished a lot,” Al Bitar said. “We are comfortable with what we’ve accomplished and with the direction we are heading.”

Responding to student demand, Al Bitar and the SGA have organized a late-night study facility to operate in the Student Center. CSU students will be able to use the computer lab and study on the first floor of the SC from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

According to Al Bitar, the facility is scheduled to begin operation on Dec. 1 and students who wish to use the facility must contact the SGA to have their Viking Card registered for access.

In addition to a new study facility, the SGA has created a multi-faith room in Main Classroom room 434.

Al Bitar said the multi-faith room was organized to advocate the growing diversity on CSU’s campus and will be a place for CSU community members of all faiths to worship, pray and commingle.

The SGA projects the room will be ready for student use beginning in the Spring 2012 semester.

In the works are a string of additional projects that aim to allow students to: join or avoid crowded campus facilities, improve CSU’s recycling and sustainability and conduct undergraduate, independent research.

The Campus-Cam project intends to install video cameras in certain campus facilities that will allow students to see how crowded they are via Internet.

Proposed facilities include the Rec Center basketball courts, dining areas and the SC Plaza.

The cameras will allow students to see if courts are available, decide whether to wait for chow lines to dwindle and see what’s happening on the campus’ main thoroughfare.

The SGA has acknowledged students’ privacy concerns and ensures that the cameras will operate in a wide angle, keeping students anonymous, and those who log on to use the cameras will only be able to do so for a short, yet-to-be-determined, length of time.

An initiative to bring more recycling bins to all corners of campus is also in the works.
Al Bitar said the changes would bring a heightened focus to recycling efforts on campus and additional bins would make recycling easier and more convenient for students.

Changes in how undergrad students conduct research are also in the making. SGA is lobbying campus administration to create an office for undergrad research that will allow students to conduct independent research through grants provided by the SGA.

Al Bitar said with these projects and others, the goal set forth by the SGA to increase student involvement is being realized—through a lot of hard work and student suggestion.

“We like students to come to us with ideas,” Al Bitar said. “We are constantly looking to improve, constantly looking for feedback.”

The SGA invites all students to visit its website at www.csusga.com to learn more about its initiatives and ways to become involved.

The website allows the student body to contact the SGA directly and participate in surveys regarding current and proposed projects.

The SGA office has an open-door policy and is located in SC 217 and 218. Office hours are posted on the SGA website.