By Christian Bailey & Kierra Whitaker, The Whetstone
The atmosphere was tense in Wells Theater as students voiced their concerns to administration at the Wesley Town Hall Meeting Feb. 21.
Most student criticism centered on why many students were unable or not allowed to use many of the College’s facilities; how maintenance doesn’t inform students when and whether things will be fixed; and overbooked reservations and how they are not allowed to hold events.
“Maintenance never replies to emails, nor leaves any sign that they are working on something,” SGA President Betty Lee said. “Maintenance used to leave tags in the rooms to communicate with students, but they have not been doing that.”
Head of maintenance, Tom Idnurm said he and his team needed to be better about communication.
“One of our main concerns is the use of facilities,” senior Jamal Earls said. “We are not allowed to use them and there should be a committee for these facilities and not just one person making the decision.”
Lee said there are not enough large spaces for students to hold events.
“Specifically, students would like to use to the practice field by Wesley West,” she said. “However, the decision to use the field is mainly up to one person, the athletic director, who tends to say no.”
Other student organization leaders had the same complaint.
Creative Attributions President Corey Johnson said he was told by the basketball and track coaches to rent a room at Dover Downs for his organization’s annual fashion show instead of the Wentworth gym.
“We don’t have the budget to rent a room at Dover Downs, so we have to have the show outside,” he said. “If it rains, the show is ruined.”
Some students say that the meeting was beneficial.
“I think the meeting was beneficial because we got to hear the administrations point of view and how they handle things and issues behind the scenes,” sophomore Brielle Braxton-Young said.
“I think administration listened to what we had to say and are trying to implement these things, we just haven’t seen them yet,” he said.
Sophomore Cortay Holder disagreed.
“I will determine if the meeting was beneficial when I see change,” she said. “I don’t think the meeting will bring change because administration does not listen.”
Head of Campus Life Mark Berry attended the meeting to speak on behalf of his department.
“The only concern that was raised in respect to Campus Life was hosting programs on the weekends,” he said. “We already currently host programs on weekends, but will be working to better advertise these events.”
Berry said that the students suggestions made at the meeting are attainable and town hall meetings should happen more often.
“I also encourage students to stop by my office and talk to me if they have any event suggestions, need help starting a student organization, or the like,” he said.
The town hall meeting was arranged by Dean Wanda Anderson and the Office of Student Affairs. The meeting’s purpose was for department heads to answer student’s questions.
Members from Student Affairs, Aramark, Security, Campus Life, Maintenance and Reservations were present.
Students said they wanted to see change.
“The biggest changes that were promised,” Lee said, “are: better communication between maintenance, and the students and a committee of people should be formed to make decisions about using athletic fields for student events so the decision is not at the discretion of one person.”