(Sept. 14, 2011) -- More than 40 local residents, educators and government leaders met recently at the UTSA Downtown Campus to begin work on an action agenda aimed at enhancing and improving accountability and engagement in San Antonio. SA 2020 Government Accountability and Civic Engagement was hosted by the UTSA College of Public Policy. The gathering was the second in a series of meetings to further San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s SA 2020 vision to build a stronger San Antonio through citizen input and collaboration.
SA 2020 began last year as a series of meetings around the community to discuss City needs and expectations in the areas of arts and culture, community safety, downtown development, economic competitiveness, education, family well-being, health and fitness, natural resources and environmental sustainability, neighborhoods and growth management, transportation, and government accountability and civic engagement. It is the latter that UTSA’s College of Public Policy is spearheading.
“COPP is proud to have taken a leading role in helping to shepherd one of the SA 2020 elements to fruition. Government accountability/civic engagement was a perfect fit for us, given our areas of expertise and commitment to community partnerships,” said Francine Romero, associate dean of the College of Public Policy.
Romero led the discussion beginning with an overview of the mayor’s vision, results from the city’s recently released SA 2020 report and instructions for all in attendance. UTSA Public Administration lecturer Patricia Jaramillo followed with a presentation of the four areas of focus for the group --- voter turnout, leadership training, building community capital, and government accountability and transparency. Participants were then divided into four groups to brainstorm plans of action. Next, participants will be placed on steering committees to write action plans for each focus area. The final plans will be presented to the mayor at a later date.
“The energy and innovative ideas coming out of the groups were amazing. Our city is full of citizens who want to participate and make things better, and they are not afraid of the work that might entail,” Romero said. “Some of the ideas that are moving to the top of our agenda are improved electronic communications between the city and citizens, training and leadership institutes for people just starting to get involved as well as newly elected officials, and a citizens’ bill of rights and responsibilities. We will lobby the City to make some of these improvements, but also recognize the need to take personal responsibility for others.”
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Aspiring doctor hopes to change medical attitudes toward obesity-related ailments
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.