Bachand responds to student concerns

President Donald Bachand addressed student concerns last Tuesday in the first Open Forum of the semester.

Students mentioned disliking the changes in the hours of operation for the Marketplace at Doan, which now closes at 8 p.m.

“There weren’t many people going to the Marketplace between 9 and 10, which caused them to reduce the number of meal options,” Bachand said. “It wasn’t some arbitrary, capricious decision. We couldn’t justify the hours based on the crowd.”

The Subway in Albert E’s Food Court is open until 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, but students said this is not a good option because not everyone has declining balance to use at these locations.

Bachand said the university will look into different options for meal swipes in the 8-10 p.m. time block.

Students also brought up issues with class scheduling, overloads and class sizes.

Bachand said scheduling enough classes to accommodate students’ needs is challenging, particularly in expanding programs.

“Most students only want classes between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and unfortunately you can’t jam all the classes into those time blocks,” Bachand said. “When a program grows rapidly, it takes some time to get faculty in place. We don’t just want to put anybody in front of our students.”

He mentioned that class size is determined by many factors.

“Class size is a very rational decision-making process that all departments go through,” he said. “Professors have to justify limits on the class size for upper-division courses.”

Bachand explained that the slower Wi-Fi on campus is due to high demand.

“There’s double the demand on a system designed for two devices per student, when students have approximately 4.1 devices each,” Bachand

There are upcoming changes in the commencement ceremony for graduating students. Bachand said there will no longer be a summer commencement ceremony, with those students instead attending the ceremony in May.

“We did this because we feel it’s very important for you to have a good experience at your graduation,” Bachand said.

Bachand emphasized that the open forums are a space for students to voice concerns.

“This place exists for you. So when I come here to listen to issues and concerns, it’s because we want to know. We want to fix things,” Bachand said. “But, it’s hard to fix them if students don’t come forward.”

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