Let’s communicate

Should there be more communication between faculty and the student body?

Communication between groups is essential for growth and trust in a community. This is something that we, as a school and as individuals, need to understand. Recently, I have been hearing from several students that they feel they’re not being kept informed of decisions. By decisions, I refer to those being made by our school’s administration and the Student Government Association (SGA). This got me thinking and I wondered if I, myself, was staying informed. To those students wondering about this issue, I now say that you are right, but also wrong in your view of things.

You are wrong in the sense that you believe there is no communication between the faculty and students. First of all, the SGA, the group that acts as the go between for the student body and faculty, holds regular meetings every week. Normally, these meetings are open to any who wish to join in. Though attending these meetings may be difficult for some due to time constraints. This is one way to stay informed. For those who cannot attend these meetings, the SGA will sometimes do a live stream on their Facebook page so that people can re-watch them later. These meetings, as I was recently informed, are held on Mondays at 6 p.m. in the Grille (the location may be subject to change depending on the circumstances). These meetings are a great time for those who have questions about certain issues and want to speak up. Proof of this communication between students and faculty can be seen in the cafeteria craziness last spring. Back then, people were getting sick from food due to allergies and the school’s negligence in posting signs stating what is in certain foods. This issue was resolved by a new committee formed on the SGA who spoke to the higher-ups and fixed the issue fairly quickly.

I know the struggle of not wanting to bring up the issues at hand and wanting someone else to handle them for you, but telling one person and hoping that your issue will reach the person in charge is a pipe dream.

Second of all, if you have an issue, bring it to one of the officers and they can go speak with the people at the top of the VWU chain of command. If that does not suit your fancy, then come to a meeting every now and then as occasionally members of the administration are in attendance. We have a good resource right here, so take advantage of it.

Now, to counter this argument, I do believe there is a lack of communication between students and faculty as students are not notified of decisions being made. From my experience, and I could just be out of the loop myself, I do not believe that the SGA and the school give us notice on a lot of the issues that are currently being discussed. Unless you know someone in the organization, you do not normally hear about what is going on. We occasionally get little tidbits of information in emails from the SGA or President Miller’s “Nota Benes.” The problem here is that, as students, we get so many emails that we just start to ignore them. I am sure that those who send out the emails just think we’re lazy and choosing to stay uninformed. They are wrong. We need a more effective method of communication that is not used so much that we feel the need to ignore it. Do I have ideas for what we can do? Sadly, I do not. This is because I do not know of any alternatives off-hand and to you, my fellow students, I apologize.

Another thing the school needs to is bring back the concept of “town hall meetings,” which were large open meetings the school used to have a few years back to talk about the big issues plaguing the campus. According to a few friends of mine who are seniors, there has not been a town hall meeting since their freshman year. I understand that the SGA has meetings, but we need something on a bit larger and more open scale. Supposedly, these meeting stopped because students were not showing up and no one seemed to care. I cannot validate or invalidate that statement.

Growing up we are always taught that communication is key to relationships. Well, this situation is no different. If we want change, then let’s make it happen!

Jonathan Joyner