The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Council formalizing proposal to keep PSEL

A proposal to keep the Policy Sciences and Economics Library (PSEL) in its existing location is being formalized with the Council on Built Environment (CBE).
Vice Provost Bill Perry asked Liberal Arts Sen. Brian Harrison and junior political science major Marcella Colbert to formalize their proposal so that they could present it to Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates as an alternative to the proposal to move PSEL.
“There’s a difference between saying ‘your proposal’s a bad proposal’ and not putting one on the table,” Perry said. “They need to put something definite on the table so that the president has an alternative to choose from.”
In a meeting Friday, Harrison said Perry told students that they would have to formalize their proposal to keep PSEL in its existing location and formally obtain statements of support from numerous faculty, administrators and students.
“We have a proposal on the table, and I have heard no objections to the proposal from any member of the administration,” Harrison said. “We are willing to go the extra mile to find a solution; however, it is not our job to do the work of the Council on Built Environment (CBE).”
Perry said that although students have proposed moving new faculty hires to the Presidential Conference Center (PCC) insetad of the Policy Sciences & Economics Library (PSEL), the proposal has not been formalized, and that certain factors were not taken into account.
“It was a very positive meeting, but what the students had not taken into account in their proposal was the additional staff that would be required for each faculty member,” Perry said. “If you look at the average across the University and see what the state coordinating board says, for each faculty member in a university, there are 1.8 staff members connected to that position as a result of the research and papers that they generate. There’s a lot of staff support that goes into this, and we have to have a place to put them.”
Harrison and Colbert disputed Perry’s assessment that their proposal did not account for additional staff.
“We believe the space is adequate to house all necessary personnel in the PCC,” Colbert said.
Colbert said they were optimistic that the proposal would be decided on by the end of the semester.
“We have been told Dec. 1 as the deadline for submitting our proposal,” Colbert said. “However, we have made huge strides and hope to have it completed earlier.”
Harrison met with Colleen Cook, dean of libraries on Wednesday, and Cook pledged to assist the two with assessing the space needs and creating the formalized proposal.
“The job of finding space for departments is a job of the CBE,” Colbert said. “Students should not be made to do the CBE’s job for them.”
Perry said he viewed the issue as a communication error and that this process was to close that gap.
“The issue that has been raised here has been a communication issue,” Perry said. “Students said they weren’t consulted. We presented this information last fall and told the student body president and members of Student Government’Here are the proposed changes, go tell your constituents.’ For whatever reason, that didn’t happen.”
Student Government said the parties needed to focus on the task at hand.
“There may have been a communication gap in the past,” said Logan Renfrow, speaker of the Student Senate. “However, there is a counter proposal to keep the PSEL where it is, and that is what needs to be addressed now.”
Perry said the major issues of hours of operation had been discussed and were being addressed.
“We determined in this meeting that the hours of the library would remain the same,” Perry said. “When the former president or his family are in their apartment, the library could remain open. The only time we would have to close the library is when we would have a visiting current head of state.”
The CBE’s proposal will be put side by side with the students’ proposal, and Gates will make the final decision. No date has been set for the completion of the process.

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