Student Government Survey: Why are students unsatisfied?
BY Staff Reporter
For the first time in over a year, the Student Government Association (SGA) conducted a general survey about school-wide concerns, and has shared the results with university President Dennis Assanis and his cabinet.
SGA’s main issue was that the university is promising to increase enrollment but does not have enough means to do so, and that the university is expanding at a faster rate than it should be. Since the survey was conducted at the end of fall semester, some of the issues took some time to reach higher-ups and come up with solutions.
Student body president, Kevin Peterson, said an email was sent out to all students with the attached survey via StUDent Central. A total of 806 students replied and answered with their opinions.
According to the survey, about 60 percent of students agree that there is not enough adequate or affordable parking. Although students want free parking on campus, parking fees and tickets help fund other university transportation systems.
“The university envisions parking as a self-funded unit,” Peterson said. “The reason why that is an issue is any funding that our busing system receives comes directly from parking fees and passes.”
Because the university needs the money for buses, SGA does not foresee parking becoming free or more affordable in the near future. However, the university has added six new buses in the past year, and at some point will be transitioning the shuttle arrival site to a new, more accurate cell phone app.
In addition to insufficient parking, the majority of students surveyed believe that there are not enough seats inside classrooms or inside the Morris Library. About 50 percent of students taking the survey agree with the statement that classes they desire have adequate seating. About 80 percent of students also disagree that Morris Library has adequate seating.
According to Peterson, Assanis noticed how the layout of the Morris library could be more efficient to make additional seating for students.
“[Assanis] actually took a tour of the library and when we met with him he said, ‘You know, I don’t see why we can’t move some of these books around and make more seating, and there’s no reason that every chair in the library should be a different chair.’ So that’s on his radar for sure,” Peterson said.
The university is looking to find ways of keeping more buildings open past hours for students to study; specifically, Daugherty Hall (the chapel). The university is attempting to address the seating issue in classrooms by making more 8 a.m. classes and adding hour-and-fifteen-minute classes to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, instead of having them only on Tuesday and Thursday.
Students are also dissatisfied with the amount of space within on-campus housing. The majority of students taking the survey voted that lack of space was the main reason they moved off campus.
Last semester, the university announced its intentions to close the Towers on North Campus, and the university has bought out the Campus Courtyards near East Campus to retain apartment-style housing options for upperclassmen. This alternative has brought on a housing-shortage for the university.
“The decision to shut down the Towers was a decision made at the board level. I think it’s fair to say that it’s definitely not good timing, but financially the Towers are a money pit,” Peterson said. “There was a net loss of 500 beds. For those 500 people who wanted on campus apartment style living, they were given the option of exiting their contract and housing worked with them to find off campus housing.”
According to the survey, students are dissatisfied with the helpfulness of their advisors. SGA claims that a new portal for the university called Blue Hen Success Collaborative, will be a “one stop shop” for advising, registration and possibly a syllabus database.
“Instead of having to go to a bunch of different sites to find courses, to find your advisor, to find what courses are actually offered that term, it’ll all be in one place,” Peterson said. “By June, every college should have access to Blue Hen Success Collaborative.”