Taking concerns straight to the president
February 7, 2011 —
For students who want to rant about something on campus that really irks them, Student Association can take that complaint directly to the University president.
In its monthly bid to get student insight into campus concerns, SA members held its Gripe Table to gather concerns to take to President Eric Gilbertson’s open forum.
Caitlin Powell, a communication major and the allocations director, said that she enjoys being able to directly communicate with Gilbertson and explain concerns students bring up.
“It’s nice to hear from the president himself,” she said. “We hear complaints about longer hours in the library to parking — especially parking.”
She added that if students don’t inform SA members about something that needs attention, “then we as representatives can’t push for a change.”
Blake Allen, an international business sophomore, said that he would submit a concern even though he had reservations about it getting passed on to SVSU administrators.
“I can gripe all I want, but I wonder if it ever gets through to them,” he said. “But if anyone can get through to SVSU about our problems, it would be SA.”
This month’s concerns included poor reviews of professors, snow plowing problems, commuter parking and ongoing construction. SA took these concerns to the president’s open forum where they spoke directly to Gilbertson or a representative from the campus police department, dining services or another department where the concern was best addressed.
Jacquelyn Gibson, a social work major and Student Concerns chair, said that talking face to face with university officials is beneficial for students who have concerns.
“We have had some time to sit down with SVSU administration to bring attention to our goals and other problems facing students,” she said. “We hope to be able to do more of that.”
The Gripe Table is available for at least two days so students can have time to voice a concern. The gripes are available a week later on the Student Association blog on its website.
Jordan Garland, a business major and the Public Information officer, said that the Gripe Table was part of “a process.”
“It’s good that we can bring these concerns to President Gilbertson and with that its one step closer to fulfilling our goal — to show that there are concerns.”
Allen said that because of the college demands of students, especially commuters who visit only specific areas of campus, two days just isn’t enough.
“Maybe they could use Vmail so busy students can have a say, too,” he said.