SGA talks Counseling, HPC Dress Code and Electric Scooters

Chandler Gibson | A&E Editor

On Sept. 4, the UT Tyler Student Government Association met for their first meeting of the new school year.

During the Open Forum portion of the meeting, sophomore Isabella Chacon spoke about her recent encounter at the Herrington Patriot Center, where she was asked to leave the gym due to a dress code violation.

“I was wearing a pair of shorts that were 92% cotton and 8% Spandex, and they told me that I needed to change because they were made of Spandex material,” Chacon said. “Even though I showed them my tag … they told me that I was not going to be allowed in.”

While the dress code listed online at the HPC website does list Spandex as being banned, it does not provide an explanation, as it does for prohibiting oversized clothing to prevent ringworm.

“They have been having issues with perverts recently,” Chacon explained. “Why is it my responsibility to change myself if there are perverts here … they told me that [the HPC] can’t even stay open and functioning without memberships from the public. Who is the priority? Is it the students, or is it the perverts that are coming to the gym and staring at the girls?”

The SGA representatives voted to request Rick McGill with the HPC at the next meeting to discuss some of the issues.

Chacon also attends counseling sessions on campus, which tuition is supposed to cover, and was informed that she was only being allowed four free counseling sessions per semester, after which she would be charged.

“It upset me a lot because I utilize the counseling center,” Chacon said. “I also pay tuition for the counseling center, so my question would be, ‘if you didn’t decrease tuition for that, did you still charge me for 15 sessions of counseling?’”

According to an email from Les Glover, Assistant Director of the Student Counseling Center, they have updated the student counseling model, embracing a “First Step” and “Next Step” process.

“The purpose of the changes are to have more availability for students and focus more intense services for individuals with more complex issues,” Glover said in an email.

Following the Open Forum, Dr. Colleen Swain, a representative from Academic Affairs,

spoke about some changes coming to MyUTTyler. Along with a revamp of the GPA calculator, Swain explained that the website will now provide a degree planner function.

“We want you to feel like you are totally in control of your degree plan, along with your advisor,” Swain said. “You can go in and plan out your entire degree. It will also let you know when those courses are typically offered.”

The SGA representatives discussed old business, like the presence of rentable bikes or electric scooters on campus. SGA Advisor Joshua Neaves confirmed Vice President Braelynn Sealy’s point that electric scooters have consistently been more expensive than rentable bikes.

“[We’re] looking at companies that will charge a dollar or two to unlock, and then a dollar per minute,” Neaves said.

The SGA voted to table the discussion until more information could be gathered. Their next business was about dress code standards for senators and officers. They are considering polos, but, according to SGA bylaws, women are not allowed to wear polos.

“Dress tops, skirts, dress pants, long dresses with flats or heels,” reads Article III of the SGA acceptable dress policy. “Sweatpants, leggings, long shirts or shorts will be disallowed at general assembly and/or sanctioned or sponsored events of SGA.”

Every violation, according to the policy, results in a recorded absence. According to the SGA Constitution, members and elected representatives are required to attend all meetings and events.

The Patriot Talon will report more information on the counseling center and the HPC as it becomes available.

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