Students speak, administrators listen

SVSU’s administration is listening to students.

Student leaders on campus were selected and invited to Dinner and Discussion, where they were given the opportunity to present issues they felt were a problem to administrators.

Looking for helpful feedback from students who see the university from a different perspective, administrators recorded issues brought to light during the event.

“(This dinner) was a recognition dinner for students who had been supporting retention programs, (such as) Stairway to Success mentors and Red and White Brigade members,” said Merry Jo Brandimore, vice president of student affairs and dean of students. “This was an effort to thank them for their efforts to help students to succeed.”

Other administrators and faculty at the event were Vice President for Enrollment Management Jim Dwyer, Associate Dean for Student Life and Leadership Programs Bryan Crainer and Special Assistant to the Vice President for Enrollment Management Nick Wagner.

After introducing themselves over dinner, students discussed issues they thought were important to address within their groups.

“I decided to participate in this event because I thought it’d be a great way to hear opinions about the different issues that are affecting the student body,” said political science and criminal justice senior Tyler Manning.

Students presented issues to the administration such as students not feeling comfortable going to professors’ office hours, a general feeling that SVSU is only focused on retention rates and possibly extending library hours.

“I think SVSU has a great administrative staff that they are able to sit down with students and hear their concerns and act upon them,” Manning said.

The administration asked how many students knew how to use course request forms and whether or not they are helpful. Students took this opportunity to ask questions they had about the forms and classes.

“I think the fact that they are taking action on the course request forms is a huge deal,” said occupational therapy sophomore Erica Green.

The administration asked what students wish they would have known as a freshmen. Responses included getting more involved on campus, going to office hours and studying wisely.

The Dinner and Discussion events are held as the administration schedules them. Promising individuals are encouraged to bring their perspective and give feedback of what they see happening on campus and through their peers.

“It’s definitely something students should get involved in if they are invited to the next one,” Manning said.

A meeting hasn’t been held to discuss issues brought to the university’s attention, but the administrators at the event wrote down the issues that were important to students.

“I think students have a unique perspective of university experience. I think they are analytical and have good opinions,” Brandimore said. “It’s wise for the administration to consider their input.”

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