By: Ava Mrozik
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Delta Epsilon Sigma organized a panel discussion on Nov. 7 addressing how Niagara University can improve both socially and academically. The meeting began with a short explanation from each panel member of how they thought NU could make improvements. The panel members for the discussion were Jason Jakubowski, Cheyenne Freely, Dr. Thomas Chambers and Dr. Patrick Tutka.
Chambers and Tutka suggested to students to keep attending events such as sports games, clubs, etc. and also, to expand our knowledge by taking more challenging courses, rather than the ‘easy A’ classes. Chambers explained how it’s important to challenge yourself to prepare for life after college. He also points out that NU’s Northeast college rank is 43 (which is lower than Canisius, Ithaca and Geneseo), which does not match the actual quality and success that NU has accomplished. As Chambers exclaimed, “we can do better!”
Niagara students who has attended this panel discussion, like myself, were able to listen from each panel member and then directly ask a specific panel member a question or explain an issue that they may be concerned about.
Personally, I think this meeting was only a baby step to an accomplished and understanding communication between panel members and the students. However, I believe it was still effective and should be carried on to the next step to provide more time to really examine the concerns from both a panel member’s point-of-view and a student’s.
Jakubowski is currently looking into housing conditions and what can be improved in the near future. He began to explain how his position, dealing with students every day, is to focus on providing students with a place where they want to live, not because they have to. He mentions the needs of a nice kitchen space for cooking, bathrooms, and enough square footage to be comfortable living in. Housing is extremely important for students to feel comfortable and included on campus.
Freely, student body president and also a Niagara University student herself, explained her concerns as well.
“I think it’s important for the academic actors at NU to hear what the students concerns are so they can react appropriately whether that be through a large forum, such as this, or the academic senate is up for interpretation,” said Freely. “However, I would like to make it known that we have two NUSGA representatives serving on the Academic Senate though who are eager and looking for students’ opinions as to what they can bring to the Academic Senate from you guys.”
I believe it’s extremely important for students to know that change is happening and that their voices can be heard. As a student at Niagara University and after attending this panel discussion, it seems that issues are being identified and students are becoming more confident in voicing their concerns. The next step, however, is to continue this progress so that our concerns are no longer a buried issue. There will be another chance to hear from more of the students by creating more panel discussions; however, the discussion will be similar to a town hall forum and will be more about the students’ opinions and concerns to be heard.