Quintanilla announces school merger at SGA meeting

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Hector Quintanilla started off Friday’s Student Government Association meeting with the announcement that the School of Arts and Letters is merging with the School of Natural and Social Sciences into one school.

The transition is happening this semester and should be finished by summer 2020. Quintanilla said there will be about 60 faculty members in the new school, and that Wesleyan is following the trend of combining the sciences and the arts.

“The combining of the disciplines allows the university to combat declining enrollment in programs,” Quintanilla said. “If major numbers decline, those majors become at risk of being eliminated. That is the fundamental reason why we’re doing this.”

SGA was presented five bills by representatives. They passed four of them and tabled the fifth.

Secretary Lexi Barlow and senior criminal justice major Elijah Meyer presented the Dallas Fan Expo Bill, which purchases 40 passes to Dallas Fan Expo and transportation to and from the event. The bill passed. SGA has passed a similar bill before.

“I think it’s (Dallas Fan Expo) a really good opportunity to celebrate a diverse group of interests and hobbies,” Meyer said.

The next two bills passed were presented by Senior Representative Jennifer Harrison. The first bill was the Distracted Driving Awareness Bill which will pay for three distracted driving simulators and a picture pledge system for a Distracted Driving Awareness event being organized by Harrison for March 2020.

“It feels awesome (to have the bill pass),” Harrison said. “It’s definitely a tribute to my best friend’s daughter who passed away from a distracted driving incident 10 years ago, and it (the incident) affects her (my friend) still today and it affects me as her friend. We see this (distracted driving) everywhere so distracted driving isn’t going away and technology isn’t going to allow it to go away. It feels really awesome to have the support of Texas Wesleyan to get that awareness out.”

Harrison’s second bill was the Senior Grad Toast Bill, which will assist in paying for food, balloons, and graduate gifts for the Spring Grad Toast on May 14.

“SGA has funded this event every semester,” SGA President Alyssa Hutchinson said.

Residence Life Representative Jeston Young presented the TV Bill, which will provide funds to buy a new TV for the West Village Clubhouse since the previous one donated by SGA no longer works.

“I think it would be really nice to get another TV for them,” Young said. “The people that live there would like to use it for some programming in the Clubhouse, practicing their E-sports, and most importantly for watching the new episodes of ‘The Bachelor.’”

The final bill, presented by School of Business Representative Gabriela Castro, was the Women in Leadership Bill which was tabled due to not having a finalized cost of catering.

SGA will not have a general business meeting on Feb. 21. The next meeting will be on Feb. 28.