Students voice their concerns at the Town Hall meeting

Students participate in the Student Senate-sponsored Town Hall meeting to discuss any issues or concerns about the campus. Photo by Sanika Tolia.

by Taylor Hoppe

Student Senate hosted a “Town Hall” meeting for students last week. The meeting was intended to be an open forum for students to voice their concerns to other students and faculty representatives from various departments of the University.

The hot topic during the meeting was the upcoming library changes. Plans have been discussed to transfer two levels of the library to the lower level of Kindlon, with the University administration offices potentially moving to the vacated area.

Students voiced their concerns and suggested that  the administration should reconsider any plans they may have because the library is a student area.

“There are still so many of us who are not satisfied with the library plans,” comments junior Kelly Marshalk.

Associate Vice President of Student Life Marco Masini explained that the plans have not been finalized yet.

“There have been discussions about moving executive offices there, but they haven’t been finalized,” explained Masini.

Masini was able to confirm that the basement of Kindlon will be renovated, but there are no definite plans for the fourth and fifth floors of the library.

“We don’t see [the library] as taken away. We’re looking at the whole picture,” Masini told students. “We’re looking at the lower level of Kindlon for classrooms, finding a different space for executive offices to make Scholl more of an academic building. The library is just a piece of the puzzle of everything else.”

Although Masini attempted to assuage students’ concerns during the meeting, many are adamant that moving the library is a bad idea.

“The library is an icon to our students and it’s so much more important than a simple library,” says Marshalk. “We want results and we want to know our voices are heard.”

Masini invites students to look at the layout and design plans; they can be found in the library.

He also said there are plans for several renovations around the University. These changes include the farmhouse being turned into an alumni welcome center and phonathon area in addition to a chapel and cultural center in Lownik.

While groundbreaking for the remodeling of the farmhouse is scheduled for March 2, Masini reports that, “at this time funds have not been approved for [the Lownik renovations].”

Other issues discussed during the Town Hall meeting included the safety and maintenance of residence halls and in Founders’ Woods and upkeep of printers and other resources available to students.

Masini and Joan Henehan, director of student engagement and leadership development, say they were pleased with the way the Town Hall meeting went.

“It went very well. It’s great to hear from the students,” expressed Masini.

Henehan added, “I appreciate everyone coming out and sharing their opinions.”

While students also believe the meeting went well, many who attended believe there is room for improvement.

“It would also be nice to have a few more administration present… Having monthly meetings would allow for follow ups on the progress of the issues from the previous meeting,” added senior Leah Vercelli.

Other students offered their feedback on the meeting.

“I think it went well, but the turnout was kinda poor, which was frustrating,” explained senior Lauren Zednick. “And no answers were given so a lot still has to be resolved.”