SGA rescinds transit fee resolution despite student approval


Juana Garcia / The Cougar

The Student Government Association struck down the resolution for a transit fee, proposed in late January, by a majority vote at the penultimate meeting Wednesday night.

The Transit Resolution proposed an additional $25 tuition charge for the academic year to fund transportation services that would be available to UH students.

Profits generated by UH Parking and Transportation from the additional fees would help fund projects such as the Cougar Ride and Cougar Line shuttles, bike parking and bus shelter upgrades, outdoor lighting and electric vehicle charging stations.

The resolution was drafted in response to an attempt to stop rising campus permit prices, which would have been suspended for two years had the additional fees been implemented.

“A lot of people wanted better quality for parking and transportation, others thought it would increase (the quality of) life on campus, by reducing parking permits (prices), or at least freezing them, and hopefully to have that reduction or at least the leveling over the years and get the necessary resources for that department,” said SGA Vice President and co-author of the resolution, Maryam Alghafir.

Although the transit resolution won 60% approval among student participants in a survey presented by Alghafir, it failed to pass the Senate vote.

During the meeting, SGA Chairman Arsalan Darbin gave general updates as his administration nears its final meeting of the semester.

Darbin announced that his chief of staff Brett Bonnete resigned yesterday. Bonnete declined to comment.

Following the 2022 SGA elections, the Senate also passed revisions to the election code regarding monetary compensation for election commissioners, candidacy eligibility, campaign regulations, and other processes.

Two other resolutions were presented to the senate for first reading, including a resolution supporting UH’s anti-discrimination policy.

Alghafir co-wrote this resolution and said it was written in response to a lawsuit filed against the University over the policy limiting free speech.

“I want to make it clear that this policy of discrimination does not attack First Amendment rights,” Alghafir said. “What it protects (is) individuals from repetitive behavior that threatens, that puts someone at risk, that doesn’t allow them to be the best student they can be at the University of Houston.”

The latest resolution presented to the prosecution was drafted to urge the University to divest from companies involved in the production of weapons, with a total of 13 student associations listed as sponsors of the resolution.

“As fee-paying students at the University, we no longer remain complicit while the University binds our lands, watches over our communities, and further benefits on our behalf,” said Alex Kerry, a junior in Middle Eastern studies and in political science. “We have a say in where our money goes and we reject the funding of militarism, apartheid and endless war, which is why, as a collective of 13 student and growing organizations, we are proud to present the resolution urging the University to divest from militarism. .”

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Key words: SGA, Transit, UH Assignment, UH Parking and Transportation