Students voice concerns at Speak Up

Top Bradley administrators and faculty members fielded questions from students Nov. 18 at Student Senate’s annual Speak Up event.

“Student Senate hosts Speak Up to give students the chance to voice their opinion to faculty and staff in a fun and friendly environment,” Vice President of Student Relations Holly Alguire.

“It also shows that Senate hears and responds to these questions weekly, and when students express any concern about the university, we get an answer as soon as we can.”

University President Joanne Glasser, Dining Services Director Gayle Hanson and Associate Director of Multicultural Services Norris Chase were among the many of Bradley administrators and faculty in attendance.

They stressed the importance of communicating suggestions in order to bring about change.

“We’re willing to shake things up, but we can’t fix things if we don’t know what’s broken,” Glasser said.

The new meal plan, which led to significant student outrage over the summer, was brought to attention numerous times throughout the event.

“I doubt we will ever revert back to the previous meal plan structure; however, we will continue to look at refinements,” Vice President of Business Affairs Gary Anna said. “Aramark is in its second year of a five year contract, and we are committed to keeping our meal plan system self-sufficient, which the new meal plan does.”

Anna said one change regarding meal plan funds is opportunity for students to get their QuickCash refunded now as opposed to graduation.

They started by allowing students with more than $750 in QuickCash balance have the opportunity to receive a check, put that money on the Discover card or use it toward tuition. Anna said they plan on making their way down to students with smaller balances in the coming months.

Coed living, another issue that occasionally reappears among students, was brought up at Speak Up as well.

“We have actually not seen a huge demand for coed housing,” Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Nathan Thomas said. “We’re willing to have a discussion about coed housing, but realize that we have certain limitations, such as restroom structures, in the dorms for coed living.”

Aside from questions regarding campus life, students also asked academic-related questions.

One student questioned the current state and future of Bradley’s library.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs David Glassman said during the last three to four years Bradley has improved the library through the addition of the café and different lighting. Glassman said more changes are “just down the road.”

“Cannon Design recently finished a six month major design assessment and gave Bradley a $3 million assessment for the suggested changes,” Glassman said. “Right now, we are just looking for revenue sources.”

With questions about purified water stations in more campus locations and improving general education and campus diversity, administrators and faculty said students must be proactive, even outside of events such as Speak Up, to relay the change they want to see at Bradley.

“If you have an idea, actually do something about it and contact someone,” Chase said.