Town Hall Meeting

Res-Life Staff puts together "first of its kind" Town Hall meeting to address student concerns.

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Students listen in as "town hall" presenter relays information.

Monique Irish, Cactus Staff Writer

On the evening of November 4, 2014, nearly every seat in the Signal Peak cafeteria was occupied, mostly with students residing on campus. They were all gathered there for the first “town hall meeting” of its kind. Residence life directors as well as employees from nearly every department on campus including maintenance, technical services, dean of discipline, A’viands (company who manages the cafeteria) with the manager as well head chef, the chief of campus police and a few more in between. The purpose of the meeting was for students and officials to interact and discuss comments and/or suggestions for anything and everything having to do with life on campus.

Residence life employees (RHA-Residence housing assistants) put the event together due to an influx of common comments and complaints from residents. For the week prior, there was a box and notecards in Res life specifically for students to write down comments/concerns to be directly addressed at the meeting. During the meeting, students were also encouraged to voice their questions and opinions and officials had the chance to address explain the other side of the issues presented. The subjects among discussion included a range from issues with spotty Wi-Fi, to cable channels, to complaining about cafeteria food, to transportation suggestions. Though it was specifically acknowledged that the event was “a meeting, not a beating” residents did not hold back in the slightest; especially when it came to concerns about the cafeteria food, which seemed to be the main target of their fire from participating residents. In the defense of the cafeteria, they do their best to accommodate and work with students, not against them; they even offered to accept recipes and more entrée suggestions from the students to appease their problems. Though there is always room for improvements in any/every department. The purpose of the meeting was to shine light on those areas that need to be worked on.

Upon leaving, the suggestions and comments box was open to accept more cards that were dispersed among the tables for residents who may not have wanted to be put on the spot during the meeting to have a chance to still have their voice heard. Overall, It gave residents the chance to speak up and vent their feelings and concerns all at once in an organized and official environment, while people on the other side of students concerns got to defend and explain reasons behind such issues. When the students left the event, they were pretty satisfied with the meeting. All of them agreed that the points that were brought up and discussed were valid and sufficiently addressed by the official representatives. It was mentioned that the meeting was successful and productive and it’s possible that more like it should be in the future.