SGA aims for accessibility


News Editor


On Wed., Oct. 2, the Student Government Association (SGA) held its second meeting of the school year.

The meeting was scheduled to be held in the Camp Younts Conference Room on the fourth floor of the Arrendale Library, but other meetings were taking place in that room.

As a result, SGA transferred the meeting to the Nielsen Dining Hall.

After SGA Vice President Katheryn Knarr opened the meeting, SGA President Sam Thomas updated other SGA members on his meeting with Shahryar Heydari, Director of Information Technology.

According to Thomas, he met with Heydari to learn more information about the work the IT Department is doing to improve the Internet.

“They have been working very hard on [the Internet] the whole time,” Thomas said. “According to Heydari, they have already increased the Internet [speed and bandwidth] three fold from what it was. They now have a contract with Windstream to improve it four fold over what it is now. So, that’s 12 times faster Internet.”

To accomplish this, Windstream will run fiber optic cable directly to Piedmont.

Thomas said Heydari agreed to  take questions from SGA and any concerned students at the next SGA meeting, which has not yet been officially scheduled.

Later in the meeting, Commuter Representative Collier Cato, proposed for SGA to move forward with a Commuter/Non-Traditional Student Lounge located in the Jenkins Theatre lobby in the basement of Daniel Hall.

Cato reported that over 33 percent of the enrolled students at Piedmont are currently commuters.

“With academic scheduling and parking challenges, combined with employment and family obligations, non-traditional and commuter students deserve a designated space for study and socialization that is identifiable, easily accessible and comfortable,” Cato wrote in his proposal.

Ethan McGowan, the senior representative, noted similar proposals have been introduced in previous years, and administration has denied or been unable to accept the requests.

For example, last year’s SGA wanted to create this Lounge complete with “Jenkins Java” where students were paid to run concessions. Other appliances like microwaves and vending machines would also be available.

However, Piedmont has an exclusive contract with Chartwells for food services, forcing administration to deny the proposal.

Unlike last year, SGA plans on taking small steps to make progress, Thomas said.

The members voted to only officially recognize the lobby as the Commuter/Non-Traditional Lounge with signage and advertisements.

“This is the first step in the process. We want to get it recognized,” Thomas said. “Once it’s recognized as the Commuter Lounge, then we can start taking steps. Let’s get a microwave in there, let’s get more lighting in there, let’s get a vending machine in there and things like that.”

Other topics discussed during the meeting include:

• Freshman Representative Josh McGowan agreed to create SGA’s banner for Piedmont Pride.

• SGA voted to provide the German Club with $250 in funds to help pay for decorations and food for the Oktoberfest celebration.

• SGA discussed plans for the their retreat to occur in late October or early November.