Administration requests feedback from ASG

The new dean of students, Kimberly Ferguson, attended the Allegheny Student Government meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, to introduce herself to the organization and listen to students’ concerns with the college.

Ferguson asked each member of ASG to explain both why they chose Allegheny and what they would like to see changed.

ASG Director of Diversity and Inclusivity Connor Racine, ’16, stated he would like to see diversity issues fixed, while Treasurer Hayden Moyer, ’17, said he wants administration to focus on student retention as a whole. More specifically, Moyer wants the college to focus on keeping students who are members of minority groups.

Ferguson said she is currently looking at campus culture and how students interact with each other.

“We need a bigger picture, more information from different student groups,” she said.

Attorney General Eric Chang, ’17, felt that one of the most important issues facing our campus is communication between administrators and students.

“I’d like to see more dialogue between students and administrators, more town hall style events where students can talk directly to the administration,” said Chang.

Ferguson said she wants to further bridge the gap over which Chang and others in the meeting expressed concern.

“[I want to] combine a department that already does research with ASG to get real, tangible, information and solve issues,” Ferguson said.

Deyalyn Batista, ’16, said that what students are doing outside of the classroom can sometimes seem contradictory to experiences that occur in the classroom.

“There is a disconnect when you go from clubs focusing on intersectionality, to a physics class where you are the only female,” Batista said.

He wants to give students more opportunities to have their voices heard and make meaningful change to the campus.

A common phrase repeated by many members of ASG was “hiding behind a computer screen.”

“I’m available in person to talk to students, and I live on campus,” Ferguson said. “All of the top administrators up to President Mullen have open office hours.”

Ferguson hopes students will take advantage of these opportunities to meet with administrators.

Members of the ASG cabinet believe that things are looking better with the addition of Ferguson to the administration.

“She got us an all-campus email,” said ASG President Haley Riley, ’16. “We spent three quarters of last semester trying to get that done and she had it set up within a week.”

When Mickey Franklin, ’16, pointed out lights on emergency call boxes have not yet been replaced, Ferguson immediately replied that the budget has been approved and once the funds are moved they will be replaced. She said she also would like to do a “safety tour” of the campus with ASG to find other problems that need to fixed.

Ferguson said asking every member of ASG what they wanted to see changed was somewhat selfish in the amount of time it took up during the meeting, but she felt it was valuable to hear everyone’s stories and issues with Allegheny. In the future she plans to attend more ASG meetings and attend other student group gatherings.