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UTSA public policy students create Citizens’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities


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(Dec. 7, 2011) -- Social work graduate students in the UTSA College of Public Policy will present a newly drafted Citizens' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities at the Great Cities Dialogue on Saturday, Dec. 10. The My City, My Voice project supports Mayor Julian Castro's SA 2020 initiative to transform San Antonio into a world-class city by 2020, while maintaining its traditional, small-town feel.

The Citizens' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities emerged from two public meetings hosted this year by the UTSA College of Public Policy as the Government Accountability/Civic Engagement element of the SA 2020 plan in which citizens endorsed the concept as an effective means of building public engagement and trust.

"Generally, the citizens of a community have a good idea of what they expect their local government to do for them, but they are often not afforded the opportunity to share that information with government officials," said Robert Ambrosino, senior lecturer in the UTSA College of Public Policy. Ambrosino teaches the Advanced Communities course in which the students are conducting the Bill of Rights research. "The Citizens' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities provides that opportunity," he said.

During the fall 2011 semester, UTSA social work graduate students spoke with area citizens and groups to gain an understanding of how people articulate their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Following the discussions, the students reviewed their findings, whittling down the information into a series of key messages. Using those overarching messages, they drafted the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities representing the voices from a broad cross-section of San Antonio citizens.

"In the Department of Social Work, we are equipping our students with the tools they need to improve society," said Ambrosino. "With an SA 2020 vision area focused on improving citizen-government relations, this project was a great opportunity. It offered our students a transformative learning experience outside the classroom."

Free and open to the public, the next Great Cities Dialogue is 8:30-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 in Buena Vista Street Building Room 1.338 at the UTSA Downtown Campus. Registration is 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., followed by a presentation/panel discussion from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

>> To learn more about UTSA's My City, My Voice project, contact Robert Ambrosino at 210-458-2026 or



Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

UTSA CITE Technology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

Kickstart your career as an entrepreneur at the UTSA Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.
Business Building, Richard S. Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus

Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture as Rendered Society

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, in partnership with AIA San Antonio’s Latinos in Architecture, presents architect Andrés Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an architectural practice dually based in New York and Madrid.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 15, 6 p.m.

Take Back the Night 2015

The UTSA Women’s Studies Institute invites you to Take Back the Night, an international initiative to raise awareness and empower survivors while educating allies through a march, poetry, and testimonios. This is a gender-inclusive movement to shatter the silence surrounding sexual and domestic violence.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

SECC Book Sale

Looking for a good read? Shop for yourself or for gifts and help change a life at the same time. Browse and buy children’s stories, novels and more at the 2015 SECC Book Sale.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 22, 6 p.m.

Phi Kappa Phi Last Lecture

What would Dr. John Bartkowski say if it were his last lecture? The UTSA professor of sociology will speak about “The Power of Listening” in this annual event sponsored by the UTSA chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. A reception will follow.
Denman Room (UC 2.201.28), Main Campus

Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m.

Lecture by Composer Larry Groupe

The UTSA Music Department presents Emmy-award winning Composer Larry Groupe. Groupe has composed music for films such as "The Contender," "Straw Dogs" and "Miami Vice," and TV shows such as "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Ren and Stimpy" and "American Gladiators." Lecture is free and open to the public.
Arts Building (ART 2.03.15-18), Main Campus

Oct. 29, 5:30 p.m.

White Bound: Nationalists, Anti-Racists and the Shared Meanings of Race

The Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series continues with Dr. Matthew Hughey, a scholar of race, racism and racial inequality.
Buena Vista Building (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

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UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

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.

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