The SGA voted in favor of a resolution supporting a pilot program for a new DOTS bus route between the University of Maryland campus and Annapolis starting in January at its weekly meeting Wednesday night.
The resolution passed 31-1, with one abstention.
The pilot program will run next semester on Tuesdays and Thursdays from January to April, dropping students off at Annapolis' Lawyers Mall in the morning and bringing students back to the campus after 5 p.m. It is only funded through the spring semester so far, but the Student Government Association hopes to see it continue beyond this academic year.
"We want to offer any help that we can provide to [the] Academic Affairs [Committee] and the leaders of this project to make sure, if successful [next] semester, that this is a long-term program," said SGA Student Affairs Vice President A.J. Pruitt in his committee report.
Because transportation options from the city of College Park to Annapolis are currently limited — there's no direct Metro connection between the two cities — only students with access to cars typically have the opportunity to intern in Maryland's capital, said journalism representative Julianne Heberlein, the bill's sponsor.
"This perpetuates a cycle of privilege that limits who can experience resume-building, impactful internships at places like the Maryland General Assembly in the State House," the freshman journalism major said. "This proposal will expand opportunities for all students."
Eight offices and departments across the campus have contributed to cover the $4,800 cost of the pilot program, said Fasika Delessa, SGA vice president of academic affairs. They are the Office of the Provost, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Division of Student Affairs, the Career Center, behavioral and social sciences college, the journalism school, the Center for American Politics and Citizenship and the government and politics department.
The SGA also unanimously approved an act to endorse a self-defense event on Nov. 17 in the Eppley Recreation Center.
In her executive update, SGA President Katherine Swanson said that at last week's Committee for Review of Student Fees meeting, the committee voted against only one proposal — an $80 increase to the technology fee. She called the size of the proposed hike "worrisome," noting that the Division of Information Technology did not follow proper procedure in preparing their proposal.
The committee asked the Division of Information Technology to bring back their proposal in the spring semester, Swanson said.