Students sat down with President Don Bachand and asked questions at the President’s Forum held in the Unity Room at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.
Several students asked about the new parking situation at football games. The university recently decided to charge for parking, and students were upset with the lack of communication.
Bachand expressed apologies and mentioned that paying to park for football games has been done at other schools.
He added that the change made sense to help pay for tailgating expenses such as workers for the event and clean up afterward.
He promised follow-up communication to students and pointed out that there would still be other free options for parking.
Students next inquired about grounds maintenance in areas farther away from main campus, particularly in Pine Grove.
They mentioned dead landscaping and overgrown weeds in areas that potential students tour through, and were concerned that poor maintenance might give the wrong message.
“(Each summer) we hire 10 students to mow,” Bachand said. “This year we only had two apply… The regular grounds staff was trying to do the work of those other eight.”
Students then asked about the tutoring center and how tutors are hired.
One student said that tutors were often unable to help her with coursework across various subjects. She wondered if tutors could receive additional training or be required to stay on top of new course material. No decisions were made for immediate action.
A student inquired about bringing Barb Smith’s suicide prevention training to campus.
She claimed the business department already received training for this, among other training opportunities for professional etiquette and resume writing. She wanted the training to be extended to other departments.
“We already have campus organizations that provide this,” said Sidney Childs, the dean of students. “We have to be careful of who we bring in.”
Students were also concerned about orientation leaders registering freshmen for classes. They said they didn’t know how to register themselves and that they didn’t know they could register for both semesters at the same time.
Strasz said that the SOAR Plus modules covered such topics that all freshmen must go through.
“(The modules cover) how to read your degree audit and how to register for classes,” he said. “We’re also adding group sessions with peer advisors.”
The meeting concluded with a follow-up on Active Minds’ request for office space. The organization is currently sharing space with Student Association but would like to have an office they can access at any time.
Bachand said the search was still in progress.