When we were elected into office we made some pledges of issues we planned to work on to make this school and this year better for students. Now, as the semester draws near an end, we would like to use our last two columns to report on our progress in these areas. In most cases we have been successful with what we set out to accomplish; in a couple of instances we have come close but more work is needed. We leave a report of our stewardship with BYUSA and with BYU to you for your consideration.
We pledged ourselves to re-establish the Wilkinson Student Center as the campus living room. Through cooperation with the WSC Business Office, we have been able to move firmly in that direction. With their help, we have arranged to provide more couches and study areas, we have decided to place a new big-screen TV in one of the lounge areas and we have begun the process of incorporating more student art and decorative ideas into the building. Teaming up with other organizations, Club Varsity has come into existence. Club Varsity uses the Varsity Theatre to host bands, comedy groups and other performers for student enjoyment on Thursday nights. Another improvement has been the creation of the Student Works section of the BYU Bookstore. Before the semester’s end, this area of the Bookstore will sell select student creative works to the public. Our hope is that the area will promote creative excellence in our fellow students and provide a forum to have talents recognized.
We promised to provide consistent, weekly previews of campus events such as fine arts, athletics and other student activities. This year we have used The Daily Universe to run the Student Life Activities Bulletin every Monday to give students a weekly preview of what entertainment BYU provides. In addition to the newspaper, preparations are being made to have the SLAB posted on the BYUSA Web site and sent via e-mail to interested subscribers. This summer, information centers will be constructed in two or three locations on campus to carry similar announcements, as well as provide a campus map and other academic and administrative information.
We committed ourselves to improving the UTA bus service to and from campus — especially for those apartment complexes further from campus. Working with UTA management and some BYU administrators we have helped review routes and suggest changes that will benefit the majority of BYU students. The new system will go into effect in August, and will offer students an efficient alternative to parking and traffic woes. The last piece of the puzzle is negotiation of a semester-based UTA rider pass that would give students access to all Utah County routes at a sharply discounted rate. We are in the midst of discussion with UTA sales and marketing, and plan to have such a pass available for students by August.
We pledged ourselves to connecting BYU students to CES Institutes and their students across the world via Web pages, e-mail and chat rooms. This initiative did not occur as we had planned it to. During a report to Elder Henry B. Eyring, commissioner of the Church Educational System, we were given the counsel not to establish such a connection until the LDS Church would orchestrate such a move. He recommended that BYUSA and other student groups post training and other information about such things as activity planning, service program development, leadership education and technology training on a Web site for use by LDS Institutes at their discretion. This has been done and we look forward to supporting both the church and the Institute program in the future.