During the course of the past year, students and the administration have not been able to see eye to eye. This is mainly due to the lack of communication between the two groups.
Last spring students received an email telling them that there would be fees tacked onto the arts and science courses and onto the winter term courses. The outrage expressed by the students resulted in a peaceful protest in Trombley Square. Because of this, President Lesley Hallick responded by meeting with Student Senate, and some of the fees were dropped.
If there had been more communication between the students and those who were attempting to put the fees in place, there wouldn’t have been a need to protest and the issue could have been resolved much quicker.
Another difficulty that has been brought up has been with the email regarding Alcohol-Wise that was sent out just prior to the school year beginning. The one email that was sent out was the main, if not only, means of communication between the administration and the students.
The issue here is that not all of the students received the one email that included information regarding the repercussions if students didn’t take the test within 30 days.
If the administration expects all of the students on and off campus to take this test, there should be more media through which students receive the notice. We ask this to ensure not only that students are receiving the information, but that it is also fresh on their minds and completed in a timely manner.
“Is there a way that we can provide an anonymous online forum that we can create a link to?” pondered Director of Media Relations Joe Lang. “I think it would encourage feedback and I think people would feel a little more empowered to speak freely without being excessively concerned with who is actually reading or the other identifiers.”
If students were able to express their opinions on changes that directly affect them through an open forum where students could speak with someone face to face, it would not only strengthen the Pacific community as a whole, but lead to problems being resolved before they become public issues.
“I think that the university is very cognizant and aware of the fact that the students need to feel like they have a say in terms of, or that the administration is really hearing them,” said Lang. “Not just through technology but through hearing them directly eye to eye and to be able to communicate.”
One of the ways that the university is trying to work through this communication problem is through the MyPacific page on Pacific’s new website. On this page is a type of newsfeed where students can find continuous updates on events such as the University Center Refresh.
Overall, the university needs to bridge the communication gap between the administration and the students or else there will continue to be miscommunications and protests. This can be done through discussion forums, open forums, feedback through anonymous surveys or even just talking to students at random. The fixes to this may be time consuming, but they are needed, especially if we are to have the strong community that we advertise.