SGA hosts forum
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 02:04
The Student Government Association hosted an open forum between students and a panel of university officials who answered questions about university initiatives and projects last week.
Senior and SGA President Molly Sullivan said the April 10 forum provided students with an opportunity to directly voice their concerns to a panel of six university administrators.
“The Student Government Association serves to represent the undergraduate population, and we are firm in our determination to enhance student life by actively addressing student issues,” Sullivan said.
Students asked officials about construction, athletics, communication with faculty and dining services.
Freshman Noah Mebane said he and other students sometimes struggle to understand their international professors and asked university Deputy Provost Nancy Brickhouse about the school’s hiring process.
“You said that you were working to internationalize the campus, which I think is an amazing goal, but I was wondering how you account for the understandability of international professors,” Mebane said.
Brickhouse said administrators are working on a stronger assessment of teaching. Faculty evaluations, held every two years, help officials determine where faculty communication with students is insufficient.
“One of the things these reviews point out to us is those areas where faculty members might need a little bit of help, in terms of expressing themselves or speech,” Brickhouse said. “But of course, keep in mind that we need to be very sensitive to being able to adjust to a variety of accents whether it comes from students, staff or faculty.”
David Singleton, vice president of Facilities and Auxiliary Services, discussed future building renovations and plans to construct a new dining hall by fall 2015 in place of the tennis courts next to Kent Dining Hall.
Singleton said the new structure will be the largest dining hall on campus and will seat more than 1,000.
“This will be a whole new concept in dining where a lot of the food will be prepared right before your very eyes,” Singleton said.
Robin Moore, director of operations for Dining Services, was asked if the officials were planning to lengthen dining hall hours. She said officials do not plan to change the hours, but she is open to discussing the matter.
Sullivan said she thought the meeting was effective and was pleased with the event’s turnout, which included approximately 40 students.
“We’re always looking for students to come, but I thought a lot of insightful questions were asked,” she said. “I think the administrators really take in our thoughts and concerns.”
Freshman Zachary DiSpirito said he thinks more students should attend the forums, which are held each semester, because he thinks they are informative and helpful.
“I imagine a forum like this being in a huge lecture hall with hundreds of people,” DiSpirito said. “I think something like that would be awesome because this is really important to us, and I think it would be important to the whole school if they knew all about it.”