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Administrators Forum sparsely attended by students

Students and staff at a long red wooden table.
Dylan Pichnarcik / THE GATEPOST

By Dylan Pichnarcik

Asst. News Editor 

University administrators met with SGA on March 1 at the biannual “Administrators Forum” to discuss student concerns. The meeting was hybrid, with some administrators joining via Zoom. 

In attendance was President Nancy Niemi; Iris Godes, dean of strategic enrollment; Lorretta Holloway, vice president of Student Success; Dan Giard, director of facilities; Michael Newmark, director of dining services; Jerome Burke, director of the Center for Inclusive Excellence (CIE); Emma Laurie, program coordinator of the CIE; Assistant Dean of Students Rachel Lucking; University Police Chief Joseph Cecchi; Sergeant Harry Singh; Glenn Cochran, associate dean of Student Life and Housing; Dale Hamel, executive vice president; Ann McDonald, general counsel; Dean of Students Meg Nowak-Borego; Provost Kristen Porter-Utley; and Eric Gustafson, vice president of Development and Alumni Relations.

According to Student Trustee Ryan Mikelis, the Administrators Forum has resulted in several changes on campus, including an accessibility ramp to the Center for Academic Success and Achievement and baby-changing stations in Dwight Hall and the Athletic Center.

The students in attendance were Mikelis, SGA President Evelyn Campbell, and senators Cesar Matos, Billy Hubert, and Jeremy McDonald.

With only a few representatives from the student body in attendance, Campbell stated she and members of SGA tried to “close the loop” and collect concerns through the SGA “Got a Concern?” boxes on campus. 

The first issue raised anonymously and discussed by Campbell was student interest in transportation to and from off-campus sporting events through the Student Transportation Center (STC). The issue is currently being researched by Senator McDonald.

McDonald said, “[STC] would be very happy to accommodate that. … So starting in the fall, they will be starting with one shuttle and then scaling it up if needed.” 

He added the manager of the Student Transportation Center was helpful and enthusiastic about the idea. 

Senator Matos raised a student concern to Residence Life Director Cochran about the accommodations for students living on campus. 

Matos said the student was concerned that “students who had mental health issues or personal issues of any kind were being placed into a certain bucket within certain residences on campus.” 

Cochran responded by saying that resident accommodations are filed at the time of applying for housing. The information is then sent to Disability Services, which reviews the accommodations and determines with a representative of the housing office what accommodations are needed. 

After a student requests accommodations, the information is saved and the student only needs to resubmit documentation if their needs change, according to Cochran.

Campbell discussed her concern about the lack of student involvement on campus. She noted that there were four students at the meeting in a room full of administrators. She added, “We have had that struggle within student government. I think we have seven senators.” 

Campbell announced that SGA has discussed including club representatives on SGA to voice the concerns of each club. 

According to Campbell, this was discussed during the second annual Northeastern Student Government Summit hosted by Bryant University, which Mikelis and Campbell attended.


Mikelis commended the event, saying that many SGAs do not have working relationships with their administrators and the presence of administrators at different FSU campus events is indicative of their support of students. 

Godes said she would be looking into data that is available through the University regarding student involvement as an enrollment tool. Godes said targeting high school students with interests in extracurriculars that are currently offered would be helpful so “they know coming in that these [clubs] are available and taking advantage of those things and getting involved.”

Senator McDonald discussed the importance of events in residence halls. He said they are frequently underattended.

He also discussed increasing working relationships between faculty members and students. “I’ve heard from other members of SGA that they want to see the professional contacts of their professors and access their networks because they are within the field they are trying to study in.” 

McDonald said this would be a tool for students to gain internships and connections within their prospective industries. 

President Niemi said, “We’re working on that - it's one of our biggest strategies. … The opportunity should exist for everybody to create that infrastructure.” 

The final issue discussed at the Administrators Forum was raised by Senator McDonald, who discussed his desire for “an abbreviated honors program” that would make it easier for transfer students to receive Commonwealth honors. McDonald said as a transfer student, it is difficult to complete the Honors Program because of FSU’s four-credit system. 

McDonald said some universities have an abbreviated program that allows transfer students to complete the requirements of their honors programs. 

Vice President Holloway asked if schools within Massachusetts had a similar system. It would be “interesting to see if other schools [in Massachusetts] did something like that.”

Because the Honors Program has stipulations set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, FSU does not have control over the requirements of the program. 



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