Students voiced their concerns to Bradley administration and staff members at Student Senate’s annual Speak Up event Monday in the Student Center Ballroom. Student Senate increased involvement by live tweeting the event via @BradleySenate. The following are questions as submitted by students.
Q: Why do the Honors students get to register first?
A: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs David Glassman said not many Bradley student groups have the privilege of registering early. According to Glassman, many other universities allow their Honors students to register early. The decision was deliberated for four to five months after Honors Program Director Kyle Dzapo presented it. Ultimately, Glassman said the decision was made because Honors students have to take a certain amount of extra hours and should be recognized for their achievements.
Q: What kinds of changes are being made in order to combat the enrollment declines?
A: Vice President for Enrollment Management Paul Schroeder said the Admissions Department began making changes in the prospective student visit day process as well as adjustments in where Admissions Representatives travel to and what the recruiting message is. Schroeder said they expect the same or a little better result than last year.
Q: With so many Veterans attending Bradley, why don’t we have a Veterans Office on campus?
A: Vice President for Student Affairs Nathan Thomas said administrators are in the process of discussing this matter. They are looking at space issues and other proposed ideas in collaboration with the BU Veterans’ Club.
Q: Students were told last year that to be able to be on the network, they had to have Windows 8 Pro. Then they were told they never needed to upgrade, and it was Bradley’s end that had the problem. What do you plan to do about this? Will students be refunded?
A: “I lied to you; the problem was a small section of access points that did not support Windows 8,” Associate Provost of Information Resources and Technology (IRT) Chuck Ruch said. He said the problem was originally thought to be Windows 8 but turned out to be an issue of access points. Ruch said IRT immediately addressed the issue, they apologize for the misunderstanding on their part, and they have taken precautions to make sure it does not happen again.
Q: Engineers have to take 17 credit hours as mandated by their curriculum. If it is part of their curriculum, why do they need to pay for that 17th hour?
A: Glassman said the University recognizes this issue, and it is “not a dead discussion” as it has been and still is occurring. He said they are working on this particular area right now, and updates will follow.
Q: Why do the Bradley police walk through the St. James buildings at night?
A: BUPD Chief Brian Joschko said that officers patrol to provide a safe and secure campus to students. They patrol the residence halls in a similar manner.
Q: Why is our men’s basketball coach getting $750,000 to coach a team that has a very poor record?
A: Director of Athletics Michael Cross said the current salary is driven by market rates and that the administration works to be competitive on the floor. Everyone is working to do their best and to improve, according to Cross.
Q: What is the University doing to promote diversity of ALL cultures on campus?
A: Thomas said there will be a big announcement in the coming weeks pertaining to this, so “stay tuned.” He said that diversity and inclusion are key.
Q: What is being done about the unacceptable cockroach infestation in Williams Hall and apparently around campus?
A: Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna said there were major renovations in Williams and that they should have been more aggressive in treating the problem before the start of the school year. This is not a recurring situation, according to Anna.
Q: There are so many places on campus that are re-seeded from foot traffic. Why not just make the sidewalks bigger?
A: Anna said that sidewalks came before actual foot traffic and that the University did not have the luxury of changing them. It is easier to re-seed these areas because it is very expensive to add sidewalks, according to Anna.
Q: How do you know you are being “throttled” on the network, and what can students do to fix this?
A: Ruch said that if you are being throttled, you are a “big” user, or in technical terms, “a network hog.” He said that if they are being throttled, students will lose their network connection for a few seconds at first and then for progressively longer periods if they continue to use at the same rate.
Ruch said that there haven’t been enough detailed reports from students being throttled to know if there are any problems with the system.
Q: Why aren’t current Bradley engineers ever encouraged to go to graduate school here?
A: Glassman said that the philosophies of a school our size are different. Students are encouraged to go onto another institution for graduate work because students work so closely with faculty here that they’ve gained training. Attending different institutions in graduate school will expand students’ networks and diversity of knowledge.
Q: What will be done about the short-staffed administration at Bradley?
A: University President Joanne Glasser said that there is no hiring freeze in place, but they are being prudent in resources and hiring.
Q: Williams Dining Hall had their freezer 15 degrees warmer than what it should’ve been. What can be done to fix this issue from happening again?
A: Food Service Director Gayle Hanson said that the problem was resolved. The Health Department inspected Bradley Dining Services last week, and all facilities except Shea Stadium received a 95 or above rating, according to Hanson.
Q: Athletics has increased their spending by 240 percent and Academics only 47 percent. Why are we investing more in a department that doesn’t affect the future of the students?
A: Anna said that the numbers are accurate but may not be representative, although he does not have the exact figures in front of him. He said the administration must shape the University through investment, and they are not doing anything to diminish academics.
Q: Why is the temperature in academic buildings so extreme?
A: Anna said that some buildings have better capabilities than others. Baker is very old, and they are looking to renovate their systems, while Westlake is not having the same problems because it is new. He said that some buildings will always have some rooms colder or warmer than others.
Q: What is Bradley doing to prepare our graduate students to be more competitive in the work force? Have we considered expanding our foreign language department?
A: Glassman said there is a challenge filling courses and that they need more students, particularly in French and Mandarin. Glassman said he does believe it’s important and called for more students to commit to the program, instead of just taking one or two semesters.
Q: Why are graduate students allowed to attend undergraduate funded events? Their activities fee doesn’t go to the SABRC like the undergraduates’ fee does.
A: Director of Student Activities Tom Coy said that they do not want to exclude any population of Bradley and are communicating with the graduate program, looking into a possible fee for graduate students as well.
Q: Dining Services donates an astronomical amount of food to the Peoria Rescue Ministries. Has the University considered ordering less food so the prices don’t keep inflating?
A: Hanson said that they have a team that works to monitor the waste and use. However, there is an “astronomical” amount wasted by students, according to Hanson.
Q: What are the future plans concerning the Garrett Center?
A: Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Services Norris Chase said a Garrett Center Advisory Committee has been set up to discuss ways for moving forward. This committee meets Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the Garrett Center, and they are looking for more attendees.
Q: What are the plans for the renovations of the library and are there updates for the convergence center?
A: Glassman said they continue to make small improvements on the library such as getting new tables, chairs and study rooms. Eventually, they hope to raise enough money for large-scale renovations, such as the first floor.
Regarding the business and engineering convergence center, Glassman said the university is still in the fundraising phase of the building. He said he believes this building and the resources that come along with it will allow Bradley to leap above its competitors. He said it’s a great vision, and it will come to fruition, but without the funds, they cannot break ground yet.
According to Dean of the Foster College of Business Darrell Radson, there are already programs in place in which students are participating that combine business and engineering, such as the two semester long senior projects and the newly opened opportunity for juniors to learn how new product development teams operate. Radson also said there will be new minors proposed this year, which will hopefully be instituted by fall 2015. He also said these types of programs are not being delivered at any other university in the country.
Q: Would the faculty and staff have to abide by the rules that would be brought forth by the Smoke-Free Campus Resolution if it passes?
A: Anna said the faculty has traditionally supported student interests. However, they cannot commit to something that has not been fully researched and discussed first. He said he personally supports the idea, but he is waiting on a university-wide acceptance and discussion before they proceed.