Monthly Archive for August, 2010

Ecofest Arlington, Sept. 18

September 18, 2010  — 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — Founders Plaza and Levitt Pavilion

Ecofest, a free, family oriented event, helps build a sense of community, stimulates environmental awareness, and promotes stewardship across North Texas. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. and the fun will continue until 10 pm. The day will be filled with entertainment from local musical talents performing at the Levitt Pavilion.

We are inviting local businesses to showcase their green products and practical do-it-yourself solutions for home improvement and maintenance.  We will be providing classes on do-it-yourself projects to reduce consumption of natural resources as well as discussions to enlighten North Texans on different environmental issues and what we can do to help reduce, repair and prevent these problems in the future.  Demonstrations will be given throughout the day by vendors and others like The Critterman and the Blackland Prairie Rapture Center.  There will be fun, games and educational classes for the children to enjoy and food and drinks will be available as well.

Ecofest web page

At urging of Grad Student Senators, new Saturday shuttle route is adopted

“Maiden voyage” of new MavMover route and schedule, Aug. 7. Left to right: Teju Hari, GSS senator (Electrical Engineering), Jenny Blankenship, past GSS Executive Board senator (SUPA); Clyde Sifore, Public Safety Officer/driver (UTA-PD), Frederick Lopez, senator (SUPA). Not pictured:  Andy Meckfessel, senator and map-maker (SUPA).

“Maiden voyage” of new MavMover route and schedule, Aug. 7. Left to right: Teju Hari, GSS senator (Electrical Engineering), Jenny Blankenship, past GSS Executive Board senator (SUPA); Clyde Sifore, Public Safety Officer/driver (UTA-PD), Frederick Lopez, senator (SUPA). Not pictured: Andy Meckfessel, senator and map-maker (SUPA).


The following was provided by Jenny Blankenship

The UT Arlington shuttle service introduced a new route and schedule Aug. 7 to improve service for students stranded on campus while reducing wasted fuel and lost time associated with increasing traffic jams. The changes resulted from a three month investigation by a team including School of Urban and Public Affairs graduate senators and was facilitated by the administration’s willingness to meet student needs.

 The Mav Mover formerly transported students to one major retailer Saturday mornings and to the Parks Mall Saturday afternoons. The limited locations and times were directly related to increasing traffic jams. Students complained especially international students who came to campus without vehicles.

Teju Hari, an electrical engineering graduate student senator, brought constituent concerns to the attention of the Graduate Student Senate on Sept. 16, 2009 after several students were left stranded at a retailer because of the split schedule. Timothy Caldwell, GSS President, approved the formation of a Shuttle Service Committee chaired by Jenny Blankenship of the GSS Executive Board. She sought assistance from Professor Jianling Li, who encouraged transportation class members to help. Frederick Lopez and Andrew Meckfessel came forward and joined the committee. Blankenship wrote GSS Resolution 09-06 that passed Nov. 4, 2009.

The group met weekly over a three-month period and evaluated the shuttle route for speed, efficiency and student-friendliness. Mav Mover patrons were surveyed and 10 ghost riders evaluated Mav Mover benefits and drawbacks from a student-user perspective. Hari developed a matrix offering greater variety, flexibility and opportunities for campus-stranded students to shop and meet personal needs. Increased entertainment and restaurant options, including ethnic and vegetarian service, as well as retailers from low-dollar, mid-range and high-dollar ranges were sought. A variety of banks, tax services, dentists, eye care providers, dry cleaning services, personal grooming, and broader grocery shopping options were woven together to meet the matrix of student needs.

Lopez determined that shifting away from single retail stops toward commercial cluster stops could meet the needs Hari described. Lopez developed a matrix of viable shuttle stop options within a few-mile-radius of the campus. A reasonable shuttle bus route, taking vehicle size, weight and classification, as well as road conditions and traffic flow into consideration was created. Avoiding wasted gasoline and time in major traffic delays remained a key goal. Test-drives established proposed schedule routes and times.

Meckfessel applied his architectural and planning experience to create user-friendly maps for proposed shuttle routes. Maps serve important communication functions for international students exploring shuttle services. Meckfessel’s maps haven’t been incorporated into the shuttle web site yet but remain easily adjustable to keep pace with changes to the route maps.

Numerous communication problems concerning ease of access to the shuttle schedule were identified in addition to the map problems. Students complained that typing “bus,” “shuttle,” or “transportation” in the UT Arlington Web site home page search box didn’t link the inquirer to the shuttle schedule. Requests for a shuttle link on the home page was declined by Jerry Lewis, vice president of communications, but he ensured the search words became effective.

Individuals spend $10 to $20 to reach any one of the three stops by taxi. The Mav Mover costs $2 per rider. The new route, effective Aug. 7, 2010, represents a slightly modified version of the GSS proposed route. It effectively and efficiently brings students within a half-mile walking distance of these and other Arlington businesses:

General: 4-Corner Frame Shop, Aldi’s Food Market, Antique Mall, Baby’s R’Us, Bank of America, Blockbuster, Book Rack, Budget Rent-A-Car, Computer Outlet, Dollar General, Chase Bank, CVS Pharmacy, dry cleaners, Fallas Factory Outlet Store, Game Stop, Gene Allen Gift Shop, Target Superstore, Tom Thumb, Wells Fargo and more.

Eateries: Blackeyed Pea, Blue Danube Restaurant, Burger Box, Chili’s, Ci Ci’s Pizza, Classic Burger & Shakes, Corner Baker, El Chico Restaurant, Jade Café, Mijo’s, Old Town Hamburger, Papa John’s, Patty’s Pantry, Pure Bliss, Quiznos, Red Oven, Schlotzsky’s Deli, Sonic, Starbucks, YoBerg Frozen Yogurt and more.

Personal Care: Hefler’s Hairport, Katie’s, Mary’s Barber Shop, Nail Center, Pro Cuts, Queen Nails, Sports Clips, and many more.

Parks Mall: Major department stores, Arcades, Dentists and Optometrists, Electronics, Food Court, Ice-skating, Jewelers, Movie theatres, Photographers, and many Specialty shops.

The shuttle service spreads UTA’s economic impact more evenly across the city and effectively employs limited public transit in an anti-transit city.

Shuttle schedule

Graduate Student Senate

Contact GSS


Course: “Conflict and Common Ground in the Clash of Environmental Ideas”

Conflict and Common Ground in the Clash

of Environmental Ideas

INTS 4388

Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

This is an opportunity for students to develop their own research problems and explore environmental issues within an interdisciplinary framework. In addition to traditional scholarship, students will conduct original research from non-scholarly sources, including blogs, websites, discussion groups, e-journals, etc., in order to investigate the way in which ideas about the environment and sustainability are formulated in public opinion. The class will form a “think tank” in which clashes over environmental ideas are negotiated toward common ground and the potential for a better future.

Fall 2010         Professor James Welch IV     TTh 1-2:20


Sustainability Committee meeting, Aug. 10

A car-sharing program, a new website, and guest speakers will highlight the University Sustainability Committee meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10, in the Carlisle Suite at the E.H. Hereford University Center. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend.

Information on the car-sharing program can be found at, a website managed by the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Mindy Mize, program manager for NCTCOG, will speak on the car-sharing program and Air North Texas.

Other guest speakers include Donald Gatzke, dean of the School of Architecture; Laura Fiffick, environmental manager for Gresham, Smith and Partners; and Pamela Sexton from the Department of Public Works and Transportation for the City of Arlington.

Refreshments will be served.