Student Advisory Council researches off-campus housing issues

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    By KRIS BOYLE and EMILY SMURTHWAITE

    Standing on the soapbox is not the only way students can voice their opinions.

    The Student Advisory Council is established to help involve students with important issues. There are 39 student representatives from the university colleges, schools and departments. SAC has a Web page set up to introduce students to issues they are discussing.

    One issue posted on the Web site discusses student involvement with campus technology.

    Jimmy Wilkins, 24, a senior from Vernal, Uintah County, majoring in marketing, is the BYUSA vice president of design and technology. He said the Student Sandbox program allows student volunteers to develop programs.

    Wilkins said it is exciting because students who have computer skills can get real world experience.

    One project under way is a book exchange posted on the virtual wilkboard, he said.

    Some students complain because they feel the administration doesn’t listen to them, but really the administration wants student input, Wilkins said.

    “The SAC lets students have a voice. They have a place to put ideas and get involved. It’s easy to get a bad attitude, when you feel like your input isn’t heard,” he said.

    Another major issue being tackled by SAC deals with off-campus housing.

    The SAC held a town meeting on Nov. 11 in the Wilkinson Student Center Terrace. SAC representatives, along with landlord representatives and administrators, fielded questions from students concerning off-campus housing. Questions dealt with issues including rising rent costs and the purpose of off-campus housing approval.

    David Jeppesen, a physical and mathematical science representative on SAC, is on a SAC committee designed to address the off-campus housing issue and draft a proposal for the administration.

    Jeppesen said the report deals with the high rent problem and the limited quantity of approved off-campus housing. The administration asked SAC to address this issue.

    “We are pleased to see administration come to us and open communication channels wider,” he said.

    SAC will take any suggestion involving students and research, Jeppesen said.

    “We don’t make policy, we make recommendations,” he said.

    Blair Carlson, 23, a senior from San Diego, Calif., majoring in accounting, is the SAC representative for the Marriott School of Management. Carlson is also on the off-campus housing committee.

    Carlson said an email was sent out to students earlier this month concerning off-campus housing. He said the biggest issues brought up from the feedback were the cost of rent and housing availability.

    Carlson said he hopes the proposal to the administration will bring about collaboration between the two groups.

    “We hope to not only give the proposal to them, but work with them as well,” Carlson said.

    Carlson said student involvement in the issue is equally important.

    “Our hope is that students get involved. We want them to feel a part of this of this as well,” Carlson said.

    The SAC holds jam sessions open to students interested in discussing issues. The meetings are every Thursday at 4 p.m., in WSC 3290.

    Students can e-mail the SAC at .

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