Regents say ‘no’ to name change, ‘yes’ to housing fee increases

The Texas State University System Board of Regents voted Friday on several issues recommended by Sam Houston State University President James F. Gaertner.

The Student Advisory Board, a group of presidents and delegates from schools in the Texas State University System, recently met and voted 14-2 against the changing of Southwest Texas State University’s name to Texas State University at San Marcos.

Helena L. Banks, SHSU’s Student Government Association president, said all the schools represented at the meeting voted against the change, except for SWT.

“We don’t want Southwest Texas State’s name changed for a variety of reasons,” said Banks.

Banks said presidents, delegates, and others came to the meeting to voice their displeasure concerning the proposal.

Banks said that SWT recently inaugurated a new president, Denise Trauth. When Trauth took office at the university, the regents decided to postpone the decision for a new name until 2005 so they could have more time to come to a decision.

“I think (the name change is) important but it’s not urgent to me,” Trauth told Austin’s KXAN-TV 36 news. “The students, though, have a different approach. Their time at the university is limited and the student leadership frankly wanted to move more aggressively on this issue. That is their right.”

Banks said because of the decision to wait until 2005 to decide whether or not the name will be changed, the student government at SWT took a different route of action.

SWT’s Association of Student Government bypassed the school president and regents and decided to take the name change proposal into their own hands by going to the state capitol and having the bill placed on the Senate floor.

Because of this action by the students, Senator Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, introduced a bill in order to change the name of SWT to Texas State University at San Marcos.

“We’ve been talking about this for four years. Now is the time,” Robert Doerr, president of the ASG student government at SWT told the Austin American-Statesman. “When you get a state senator (on your side), politically I think it makes it the right time.”

Banks said the Student Advisory Board voiced their displeasure concerning the tactics Southwest Texas State used in order to have their name changed, and they also found fault with Wentworth’s bill.

She said Wentworth suggested that all schools in the Texas State University System should in some way have the words, “Texas State” in their name.

“If it’s our decision, this is not going to happen,” said Banks. “That is not even an option for Sam Houston State.”

Banks said in order for the bill to be approved for Southwest Texas State’s name to be changed, it must pass through both the Senate and the House.

This is the fifth time that Southwest Texas State has proposed to have its name changed. It has had five names in its history, including: Southwest Texas State Normal School (1899-1918), Southwest Texas State Normal College (1918-1923), Southwest Texas State Teachers College (1923-1959), Southwest Texas State College (1959-1969) and the current name of Southwest Texas State University.

Rates for residence halls will increase from 4.3 percent to 7.8 percent, and meal plans will increase from 2.6 percent to 2.8 percent beginning in the Fall 2003 semester.

Prices for residence halls will range from $1,056 per semester for 25 of the least expensive halls to $1,696 per semester for White Hall.

The 20-meal plan will cost $1,024 per semester, and according to the article, “The $28 increase over the current plan is the result of cost of living increases and increased costs of operations and inflation.”

The board of regents also approved a summer study program in Ireland, and authorized SHSU to enter agreements with Blinn College and Montgomery College, in order to improve communication between the institutions.

Preliminary plans for an $8.3 million addition to the Smith-Hutson Building, the renovation of Jackson Shaver Hall and construction of a 5,000 square feet dining facility were approved.

Also, a $1.45 million renovation project Sorority Hill area and a $600,000 renovation of the second and third floors of the Estill Classroom Building were approved. It was also approved that $545,000 in repairs would be made to the roofs of the Evans Building, Academic Buildings I and III, East Central Plant and Smith-Hutson Business Building.

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