The recent Town Hall gave students an opportunity to voice their concerns. However, many left with mixed feelings.
On Tuesday, Oct. 30, students filed into the Moot Court Room for Regent’s Town Hall event. On the panel were Dr. Umidi (Executive Vice President for Student Life), Adam Williams (Assistant Vice President for Student Life), and Liz Daugherty (sitting in for Dr. Southerland, who was unable to attend).
A variety of concerns were expressed at the meeting, ranging from housing to classes offered to campus safety. The panel fielded the issues well and were able to put several students in touch with department chairs and staff members who could better answer their questions. Many old subjects were finally put to rest while new ideas and concerns had the opportunity to be examined in a positive environment.
However, while some students were satisfied by the meeting’s results, many walked away with mixed feelings.
“I thought it was kind of frustrating,” said one student. “When concerns were brought up about courses being dropped and lack of communication from the academic department to the students, the concerns were met to a referral to those absent.” Another student added, “The University’s success seems to be defined by enrollment numbers instead of current student’s satisfaction.” Additional annoyance was expressed over the promotion of new majors, while the academic requirements for existing ones are not being met.
While it is easy to become dissatisfied with the system, and easier still to voice complaints, it must be remembered that students cannot perceive the whole picture. There is a vast network of unseen labor and support behind the face of what students see, and any changes must take time. Many of these concerns were new, having only recently become an issue and therefore never having been voiced to staff. Panel members repeatedly stated their appreciation for students bringing these topics up, expressing hope that many of the issues would be resolved in the future.
The future of any school lies partially in the hands of those who attend it. When faced with problems beyond one’s reach or major concerns, it is always a good idea to reach out for assistance. Advisors, faculty mentors, department chairs, RAs, and even LGLs are people who can always be approached for solutions or, at the very least, suggestions on who to contact for answers.
Though there were both positive and negative reviews of Regent University’s Town Hall, the overall mood as people departed was one of hope. Many students lingered to speak with panelists, who gave out contact information for those who could better answer some of the questions raised. Names were offered, advice given for more specific situations, and, in short, everything possible was done to ensure that students knew their questions were taken seriously.
“I was thankful for the opportunity to voice concerns,” said one undergrad student just before leaving, “and I’m hopeful for positive changes moving forward.”
Rebecca Presnall is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.