SG questions Patterson, approves appointments

Eleanor Dearman

Tuesday, at the first Student Government meeting of the school year,  the SG assembly confirmed internal and external positions and men’s athletic director Steve Patterson discussed issues facing the athletics department.

After the floor was opened for questions, SG assembly members asked Patterson about the Frank Erwin Center’s future and the compensation of college athletes.

While no exact demolition date is set for the Erwin Center, Patterson said when the time comes for the center to close to make way for the future Dell Medical School expansion, he would like to see an arena close to campus available to use.

“I think that there are a lot of parties that need to be in conversations that come to the table to address financing issues, location issues, design issues, parking and transportation issues and different conditions with users,” Patterson said.

Patterson also said he is against the compensation of University athletes outside their student benefits.

“If you take the benefits that student athletes get — room and board, tuition, mentoring, tutoring, the basic student benefits — then the value of a student athlete, a football player for instance, is about $69,000 a year … which would put you in the top third of household incomes in the United States,” Patterson said. 

Later in the meeting, the executive board appointed students to internal and external positions. The nominations were voided in May after the SG court requested interview notes from the position interview process. SG assembly speaker Braydon Jones said the nominees made last spring were included on the agenda and were appointed during the meeting.

Jones said he gave assembly members three-and-a-half weeks to voice any concerns about the previous appointments.

“I personally did not receive any concerns regarding the appointments,” Jones said. “The assembly board and I met earlier this afternoon and decided we would move forward with the applications and the appointments of the previously nominated names.”

During the meeting, SG President Kori Rady said Safe Ride — his initiative to provide safe and free transportation to students from downtown after going out on the weekends — will start Thursday.

“It’s something we have been working on for a long time and something that our University lacks,” Rady said.

Rady also said the UT Android app contract is complete and awaiting signatures from the student developers before its release.