Wondering Questions of the students
Owens Student Government held their monthy town hall meeting in College Hall 100 on Wed., Jan. 21. The meeting was run by Nick Calmes, Student Government President, Adren Burkes, Student Government Secretary, Chris Giordano, Dean of Student Life, and Dr. Betsy Johnson, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services. According to Burkes the meetings provide a forum for students to voice their concerns. At this meeting a lot of concerns were brought to the faculties attention.
Owens was encouraging students to increase the amount of credit hours they were taking and called it Take 15. This was meant to ensure that students completed their degree within the two year time frame. While this is possible for some students it is not for others. Some students felt they were being pressured to take on more than they could handle. Johnson and Giordano assured them that Owens did not intend to put any undue pressure on anyone, Take 15 was merely a suggestion.
Some students voiced concern about the lack of healthy snack choices in the vending machines and requested that there be a larger food selection at the Fireside Grill. The response given to these students was that it had been done in the past but the healthier options had not sold well. However, they did say they would be willing to try it again.
A lack of advertisement for activities and clubs was also brought up. Students said that they wanted their experience here at Owens to be about more than just working toward their degree and graduating; they also want to get involved so they can network. More table toppers and TV promotions were suggested as ways to better get the word out. Johnson said they are trying to promote what’s going on around campus the best they can through Ozone, Stall Talk and OTV.
The question of how international students can get more involved and who they can go to for help when they have issues was raised as well. The international students can go to the International Student Services (ISS) in college hall to find all the information they need. There they can get help with enrollment, immigration support and many other issues they may encounter. ISS also has an International Education Week every November where they have workshops and presentations to celebrate cultural diversity. Christine Parks, International Student Advisor, and Annette Swanson, Manager of ISS, are happy to help support students to ensure their success here at Owens.
At this point almost everyone is aware of Big E the new Owens mascot but students wanted to know how he related to them. Johnson said that students are going to get a chance to connect with Big E in a lot of fun ways. Her and Giordano are trying to plan a spirit week to help students and Big E connect. They are also taking suggestions from students and faculty on additional ways to do this.
If you are interested in coming to a town hall meeting to bring up a concern or just add your voice to the conversation the next one will be held in College Hall 100 on Wed., Feb. 18 at 2:30pm. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.