Students and faculty voice concerns at forum

Students had the opportunity to ask President Don Bachand questions at the President’s Forum held in the Unity Room at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13.

After brief introductions, Bachand mentioned the progress being made on the new business building. Despite all the snow days, construction is still on schedule for the building to open next January.

Bachand also noted that the university was adjusting well to the weather-shortened semester.

“[Many of our] departments have figured out how to get where they need to be,” Bachand said. “Everything is on track for the end of the semester and for graduation.”

He noted that the search for a graduation speaker is ongoing, but he was confident they would find someone soon. Ramon Hernandez, the campus events director of Student Association, voiced concerns about electrical outlets available in common areas.

He noted that areas such as Cardinal Commons and the seating at Einstein Bagels have very few wall outlets, and those available often have only one opening for students to use.

“It’s not really student-friendly across campus,” Hernandez said. “It would be great if we had more spots to charge up our devices.”

Bachand noted that the number of devices per student has dramatically increased since most buildings were last assessed or renovated.

He assured the students present at the forum that campus officials would take inventory of electrical outlets across campus to see where access could be increased.

The discussion then turned to a request from Active Minds for office space.

Caitlin Norris, the president of Active Minds, said the organization’s current space is a storage closet in the back of the counseling center.

She had received several emails from their advisors regarding their already limited access to the storage closet.

According to these emails, Active Minds members are “disrupting” counseling center appointments and potentially “breaking confidentiality.”

Norris noted that their organization has been hosting more events this year and could face serious repercussions if they continue to plan events out of the counseling center.

Bachand assured attending members that the university would do its best to find a solution.

“Some spaces need modification,” said Bachand. “There are a lot of considerations, not barriers, in finding a space for organizations.”

Students then asked Bachand what he would suggest they do as part of an SVSU bucket list. He suggested that students get involved as much as possible and have some kind of international experience.

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