University Presidentspoke with nine students during her Open Door session Wednesday about topics ranging from sustainability to Texas State’s buses.
The Open Door session is held once per semester. Joanne Smith, vice president for Student Affairs, attended the student meetings with Trauth. Each student received private one-on-one time to discuss individual issues with the administrators. Trauth said this was a bigger turnout than in previous sessions.
Ashley Mendoza, health care administration senior, is a commuter from Austin who takes a Bobcat Tram Interurban bus from the Highland Mall stop to campus. Mendoza said she attended the session to talk to Trauth about the cancelation of the bus service.
“I’m here to complain about the (interurban tram) being shut down,” Mendoza said. “Apparently they did a survey, but when people took it, they thought it was to improve buses.”
Smith said students had a lot of their questions about the service cancelation answered at Monday’s Associated Student Government meeting.
Several students attended the session to discuss sustainability issues. Many were interested in agriculture, sustainable energy, solar panels and recycling.
Dag Osorio and Charles Hoitt, agricultural education graduate students, both attended the session to speak with Trauth about the Students’ Sustainable Farm.
The Students’ Sustainable Farm program offers land for participants to grow crops. It provides research opportunities to all students, faculty, staff and the community, but the program is in jeopardy because the property is being sold, Osorio said.
“We’re trying to develop the curriculum for agriculture and develop research and education for the future of Texas State,” Osorio said.
Steve Riggs, agricultural education master’s student, attended the session. He discussed with Trauth how the agriculture and sustainability departments can work together.
Riggs additionally told Trauth the Department of Agriculture is losing the ability to do physical work because of the sale of the Students’ Sustainable Farm.
“Without facilities, we’re just theorists,” Riggs said.
Tom Gleason, geography senior, spoke with Trauth about installing solar panels in the university’s buildings.
“At the end of the day, it all comes down to funding,” Gleason said. “Money’s tight, but (Trauth is) going to look into the issue.”
Gleason said he also talked to Trauth about the growth of the university. He said Trauth told him Texas State is attempting to manage the abundant growth it is experiencing.
Duy Le, sustainability studies graduate student, said he talked to Trauth about bringing recycling into the football stadium. Le said Trauth told him to write a proposal to accomplish this.
“I walked away with a little bit of hope,” Le said.
Chandler Sparks, biology senior, spoke with Trauth about Cats in Action.
“Cats in Action is an organization dedicated to raising awareness about giving back as a student and an alumni, and the difference that those donations can make at Texas State,” Sparks said.
Sparks said the primary function of his session with Trauth was to plan the details of putting a new illuminating Victory Star atop Jackson Hall, a project called Lighting the Way.
“She definitely wants to go about things in the most professional and appropriate way that’s the best for the university as a whole,” Sparks said. “She was supportive as always.”