Senate Speak Up gives students a voice

Originally published in the October 8, 2010 issue

An offer of free food is enough to bring a crowd of college students to any function.

Bradley’s Speak Up event offers not only free food, but also the chance to ask any questions or just voice your opinion to the higher-ups of Bradley’s administration face-to-face.

Speak Up is an open forum organized and run by Student Senate.  The point is to create a liaison between students and administration, showing students that administrators really do care about their opinions.

This is an event that is rather unique to Bradley, as most schools are too large to ever personally speak to administration in power without having to go through a complicated bureaucracy first.

Student Relations Chair Danielle McMillan said part of her duty is to “keep the students as informed as possible,” and one way she does this is by organizing Speak Up.

McMillan and her committee are in charge of preparing the event. They have been planning and organizing since the summer. One of the committee’s goals is to “create a good buzz about the event and to hopefully get a lot of administration and student participation.”

So far they have been successful. Many students are already looking forward to the event. Freshman industrial engineering major Stephen Koch said he is optimistic that the event will go well.  

“Free food is always a good appeal to college students’ stomachs and bank accounts, but it is the real connections and networking that is the true draw for an event like Speak Up,” Koch said. “It just shows how much the administration truly cares about students to take time out of their busy schedules to stop and listen to and interact with students.”

Some students even see events such as Speak Up as a draw for future Bradley students.

“The close relationship between students and faculty at Bradley University is one example of what makes Bradley such an appealing school,” sophomore marketing major Tori Scotti said.

McMillan said one reason students respond so well to this event is because “whenever a student gets the chance to speak his or her mind to administration in a fear-free environment, with the support of their peers behind them, it’s a great feeling and a wonderful opportunity.”

Not only will students get to hear from administration, but administration will be able to receive feedback from students.

Senate is releasing a survey today to gain students’ opinions on campus issues.

 “By knowing other people will have answered the exact same questions, students will want to come and see the results and gauge administration response,” McMillan said.

By using survey results, administrators will be better able to understand any questions or concerns from students and where students are coming from, McMillan said.

Students and Senate alike seem to view Speak Up as a rallying point between all invested in the university.

“I really want to make Speak Up an event that will stand out in people’s minds and something they get excited for, an event that new students and old students alike will come to and experience that Bradley community feeling,” McMillan said.

Speak Up will be hosted from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 20 in the Michel Student Center Ballroom.