Anderson University's Student Government Association (SGA) recently hosted a forum for students to ask questions about the current prioritization. Dr. Brent Baker, vice president for student affairs, and Dr. Marie Morris, provost, were present to answer questions and give background to the decisions made.
"At the beginning of the forum, I thought the weight I had been feeling from students would be alleviated by the end," said Austin Lyon, SGA president. "When the forum came to a close, the weight was heavier than it had been. I think this was the consensus from the administrators present and my staff. However, this weight is good. I know we will not let the weight hold us down, but we will move forward and it will inspire us to thrive."
Students from an array of majors were in attendance and shared different viewpoints. "I was there because I want to stay informed," said Lauren Posas, a junior nursing major. "Things don't change if people aren't willing to participate."
Also in attendance were several alumni, faculty, and staff. Philosophy, French, theatre, and art were all areas of study that were directly affected by the prioritization process and were well represented within the forum participants. "The students just showing up prove how passionate they are about their particular area or about their friends in those areas," said Baker. "I think the forum was a good exercise of the kind of place we want to be. We want to be a place where students are allowed to ask tough questions."
Plans to continue the conversation between administration and students are evident. "Going forward, Dr. Morris and I would like to follow-up with students who don't feel like they understand our plans moving forward," said Baker. "There will also be more communication with faculty and staff."
Baker and Morris both expressed their desire for these changes made within the university to impact the campus in a positive way. Lyon also articulated that students should continue to look forward in the process rather than looking back. "My expectations for the turn-out were greatly surpassed, and it instilled a lot of hope in me for the care this community has for one another," said Lyon. "There were a lot of hard questions asked, and with hard questions come even harder answers. Progress was made and that is where success is found."
— Lydia Hawley is a senior from Ohio, majoring in communication arts with a focus in public relations. Hawley is an account manager with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.