By Rayana Hunt
President Merrill J. Bateman announced Thursday the possibility that UTA may provide free bus passes to students for a year.
Bateman made the announcement in a question and answer session in the Wilkinson Student Center Thursday morning.
In addition, he answered questions about Route Y and announced the construction of a new building on campus.
In response to a question about why a shuttle system was declared infeasible during the recent BYUSA elections, President Bateman announced the university received approval yesterday to explore with UTA the possibility of providing free bus passes to students for one year.
After that year, the university would have to cover the cost of the bus passes, though they would still be free to the students.
Executive Director of the Student Advisory Council Jordana Choucair, 20, a junior from Bountiful, majoring in community health, said UTA sought input from BYU on the idea of bus passes last semester.
At that time, the Student Advisory Council (SAC) heard a presentation from UTA and wrote a resolution to “support continuing communication and cooperation between the administration and UTA,” Choucair said.
President Bateman also announced the board”s approval to begin taking bids for a new building on campus that will replace the Smith Family Living Center.
“All the funds will come from donated moneys,” President Bateman said.
“We”re now in the very last stages of finishing the fund-raising. We”re probably 95 percent of the way there.”
In response to problems with the Route Y, President Bateman promised there would be fewer problems with the computer system. All students are involved in the use of the system.
One of the major issues President Bateman discussed was the reorganization of the Kennedy Center”s international program.
“We really found three issues,” President Bateman said. “One issue was quality programs. The second issue was the way in which things were being governed and the third had to do with the availability of resources.”
President Bateman said he knew BYU needed to have an international program when it was being reviewed because of the nature of the student body and faculty.
“We are the most international university in America,” President Bateman said. “We have students from all 50 states and 114 countries.
We speak 85 languages on campus. Seventy-two percent of our students speak a second language. We teach 66 languages on campus. I think Yale is second with 24.”
Another question asked was concerning the “Ubiquitous Computer Act,” which would require all students to have a computer.
President Bateman said a study done on-campus showed that 75 percent of incoming freshman are already bringing a computer.
The requirement will come gradually, President Bateman said, through the different departments according to the necessity in that department.
Choucair said President Bateman does a question and answer session once every semester.
“Our major goal is to unite the campus, the administration and the students and let the students know of the love and appreciation that the administration has for them,” Choucair said.