Retention Roundtable Lets Students Voice Concerns with ESU

By Edita Bardhi
Opinion Editor

Academic Affairs Chair of Student Senate Francina Phillips presented “Retention Roundtable,” on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

Phillips addressed some of the possible areas where students may encounter issues amongst their campus.

“Some of these are not academic related, but they still influence retention at our university, especially finances,” said Phillips. “There is a need for better advising and events on campus.”

Phillips’s main goal for the night was to give students an opportunity to express their overall concerns about their university.

Additionally, she wanted them to share any ways that ESU can implement, change or improve to help retain current and future students.

“The reason why this occurred is because retention is a topic on campus university wide senate. Also, I sit on the academic affairs committee as well. So, I just took it on as my initiative so I can get opinions from students and be able to relate that information,” said Phillips.

As part of her presentation, she explained what exactly made the topics problematic. For instance, she stated that there were complaints on the lack of tutors. Also, students are having difficulty finding their advisors, or they receive little help from them.

Only 22 students attended the Retention Roundtable. However, there was no silence. From one student to the next, viewpoints were openly distributed about the campus.

Some of the issues discussed are as follows: lack of social activities over weekends, the need to share a private tutor, weak interactions between upperclassmen and incoming freshmen, poor conditions of the traditional halls, miscommunications between different departments and the financial aid office, misunderstandings between professors and students, lack of students getting involved in extracurricular activities, lack of variety and quality of the food (both in Dansbury Commons and the Union), continuous parking tickets, and the inability to communicate to coaches, team members, club members, etc.

Throughout the night, students gave Phillips a clear understanding of their troubles, and why they feel this way.

“We are the students, our opinions matter,” said Phillips.

One student from the audience spoke of a specific incident he witnessed.

“I think they should be a little more lenient toward parking rules and having cars on campus,” he said.

Not too long ago, his friend received a parking ticket despite already having a valid parking pass. When he tried to take care of it, they gave him two more. At the end, the payment rounded to about $300.

The student did not understand why his friend received a ticket to begin with.

“It was ridiculous. I was mad for him even though it wasn’t my car,” he said.

Most times, students could relate to each other on similar topics.

The discussion led students to ponder over the many issues they have of their university. All the same, Phillips notified her audience at the end that they were heard.

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