July 18, 2018 | ° F

Council discusses faulty bus shelters, student concerns

Photo by Jeffrey Lazaro |

Council members discuss plans at last night's meeting for creating new student housing. The council created a survey for students to answer questions about housing complaints and suggestions.

The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Governing Council met last night to pass a resolution that opposes the possibility of a new bus shelter model to replace the ones on Cook campus.

Department of Transportation Services Director Jack Molenaar spoke to the council last semester to discuss making the bus shelters on the Cook campus resemble the ones currently in front of the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus, said Shannon Loelius, SEBS Governing Council secretary.

"We were kind of upset when this shelter, created with student money, didn't protect them from the rain," said Loelius, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences sophomore. "[Molenaar] said students could stand inside if it was raining. It didn't make sense to us that we didn't want that."

The closest building to the Biel Road bus stop on the Cook campus is the Cook Campus Center, he said. If students see a bus arriving they would need to dash toward it.

In the meeting when Molenaar spoke to the council, he explained bus shelters were not designed to protect students from the rain and weather elements.

"But rather, [they were designed] to have a low profile behind it," Loelius said. "Also the architecture designed it such that there was a scarlet shadow when the sun hits it."

Heather Afford, University Affairs chair and Class of 2013 representative, said the SEBS Governing Council would appreciate the new bus shelters because the current ones on Cook campus are falling apart.

"We want it to look nice, but it's still not very functional for the purpose we want it to serve," Afford said.

During the last meeting, the council also discussed plans for initiating new student housing. Its members created a housing survey for SEBS students to express their housing complaints and what they would like to see changed, Loelius said.

"We basically want to compile as much information as we can so we have a good background on how students feel," said Afford, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences sophomore. "So we're not talking to the director of housing, Joan Carbone, with just our ideas. We want more facts."

SEBS Governing Council members also discussed their role in the Rutgers University Student Assembly's plans to create a position for a graduate student whose job would be to ensure members are doing their work, Loelius said. They would be given a $15,000 tuition remission and $10,000 stipend from student fees.

Council President Zaid Abuhouran and Loelius are drafting a resolution against the idea, because they believe it is not an appropriate use of student fees.

"RUSA is composed of 90 members and those 90 members can do enough work on their own if they delegate jobs effectively," Abuhouran, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior said. "If they are not motivated to be student representatives then they should not be on the assembly."

Abuhouran said many of the professional school councils at the University are not in favor of RUSA's plans and other councils have also shown interest. The Mason Gross Student Government Association forwarded their resolution to the council to see if they are interested.

"It'll be a joint resolution," Abuhouran said. "We'll all be passing the same resolution. It'll be introduced to RUSA to show our disdain."

John Reinfelder, a professor of environmental science, and Robert Goodman, executive dean of SEBS were scheduled to attend last's night council meeting at the Cook Campus Center Room 202, but could not attend.

Reena Diamante

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