SGI Forum: Where Issues Find a Resolution

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SGI Forum: Where Issues Find a Resolution

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SGI held a student forum on Nov. 20 in DAC. The student forum allowed any student to come in and voice any concerns in regards to St. John’s so that SGI representatives and committees could provide a solution or meet with the proper departments to solve the issue. The main topics tackled during the forum were dining services, academic life, residence life and facilities. 

Beginning with issues in regards to dining services, students expressed their concerns about the dining options on campus. A student brought to attention that while Subway offers a vegetarian meal exchange option, it does not offer a pescatarian meal exchange option. SGI said they would be meeting with dining services and express this concern. Another issue concerning dining brought up during this part of the meeting was the current closure of Pan Asia in D’Angelo Center. SGI said at this point in time there’s still a safety issue in that area due to the gas pipes. There is a request in place, but it has yet to be approved. However, if the restaurant is not able to reopen, another one will be opened to replace it.

Another issue brought up by students was the lack of meal plan options on the weekend. The meal plan options  offered during the weekend seems too limited to some SJU students. SGI stated that some of this concern stems from the issue that students do not fully understand the meal plan. Some solutions proposed were the extensions of certain service times in Montgoris Dining Hall as well as the creation of a more comprehensive list of the meal plan options which may lessen and confusion regarding the meal plan. 

Another dining issue that students voiced was the amount of meal swipes offered within the meal plans. Currently, 10 premium swipes are offered. One student wanted this value to be raised. Also, one meal plan offers 14 meal swipes, but there is not an option for 21. SGI said that of these types of meal swipes may be possible to add to meal plans,  but since the meal plans are based on a dollar value, the cost would rise as well. 

In terms of facilities, many concerns were centered around both Century and Sullivan Halls. Handicap services, such as automatic doors in Sullivan Hall are still broken. SGI said they would contact facilities and public safety to get these services running as soon as possible. 

In Century Hall, some students had concerns with the broken washing machines and evidence of cockroaches present. SGI said calling facility services or even public safety would be the best option for residents in these situations. However, it was mentioned that in some cases these issues start from within and to be mindful that it may not be just the University’s fault. Some students were also concerned about a possible $1,000 fee if Spring housing is canceled. 

While more information can be found by contacting the Office of Residence Life, one student said this fee is excluded for students who will be studying abroad. Lastly, the heat and hot water issues were due to the replacement of a boiler in St. John’s Hall. SGI will speak to The Office of Residence Life About better communication since some did not receive proper notice. 

When the discussion moved to issues within the residence halls, the voiced concerns were mainly focused around issues that could be fixed by Facility Services. SGI said putting in a request form with Facilities Services would be the best option. This can be done through MySJU, under the “Reslife” tab. The next issue was about Public Safety and the guest policies within the residence halls. The student services committee plans to meet with Public Safety around the perceived inconsistencies surrounding guest policy violations — specifically, how certain situations are deemed as violations for some and not for others. However, it was stated that the guest policy for on-campus residents changed due to Resident Assistants (RA) being concerned with the amount of violations given out which was making their job more rigorous. Many students felt that if they live on campus, they should not have to leave another residence hall at 3 AM. This policy changed a while ago, so it may be subjected to change if both current students and current RA’s support the change. 

The last topic covered concerned issues in academic affairs. Some of the main concerns voiced by students were professors’ meeting policies, the tutoring center and registration. Some students had issues with their professors’ office hours. The academic affairs committee plans to address the concerns, but they stated that full time professors are required to have office hours for students. The tutoring center had numerous issues such as, the option to schedule math tutors being taken away, the qualifications of Chemistry and Math tutors and the Global Language and Culture Center (GLCC). The academic affairs committee plans to meet to redefine the qualifications for tutors and what the current standards are since these students are paid. Tutoring sessions at the GLCC are required for some foreign languages, however, there is a limited number of tutors and some tutors just read the textbook. This issue will also be looked into. In regards to registration, SGI suggested those who scheduled late and need to be in a class for pre-requisite purposes or graduation time, should email the professor or go to their dean.