posted on: Thursday November 16, 2017
by Connor Nolan ‘19
Student Congress Publicity
At Tuesday’s weekly meeting, Student Congress welcomed multiple guest speakers to present before its members. First, Glenn Halverson from the Rhode Island Blood Center spoke briefly regarding the blood drives on campus. After speaking to students during the current drive, Mr. Halverson realized that many students on campus were unaware a blood drive was going on. He hoped that in the future the congress would help to get word out in order to grow the number of donations provided by the campus community. Congress hopes to help in the future, and wants students to be on the lookout for information regarding future drives.
The other speakers who presented before the congress were Michael Botelho, associate vice president of finance and strategic planning, and Alison Sjovall, student affairs communication and assessment specialist. They wished to receive feedback regarding Providence College 200, the College’s next strategic plan regarding the future of higher education based on feedback from members of the local community.
Botelho fielded both questions and suggestions. Many students wished for some sort of plan to be included that would bridge the gap between the liberal arts and professional schools. Multiple students suggested that the school work harder to build relationships with alumni in different professional fields that might not be directly a part of the school curriculum, in order to aid students in some of the less popular majors to build connections. Since the plan spoke of increased diversity, students had questions as to how this would be accomplished, but as the plan is in preliminary stages Botelho promised to look into how this will be done.
Multiple questions and suggestions were also fielded regarding financial aid and tuition at the school, and how those can be increased and lowered, respectively as a part of the plan.
Students also suggested growing of the community outside of the College by connecting with the Smith Hill community and changing the opinion many students have about the areas outside of campus.
The congress would like to thank the presenters for coming and wish them luck in building a plan that benefits all students as well as the community.
Two pieces of new business were presented before the congress in Tuesday’s meeting. First, a piece of legislation was introduced to endorse a student athlete representative as a passive member within the congress.
The second piece of new business involved changing the hours for which the Aquinas Lounge can be reserved by clubs and other meetings. This piece is meant to create a rule that would prevent bookings past 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday from being made in the Aquinas Lounge and the Ruane Great Room.
Although it will cause many events to move, members seemed receptive as it is a space meant for student studying and collaboration. Members suggested that this should be extended to other buildings ,including Fennell Hall, where it can also be hard to find a space to do work. Many saw this as a good first step towards study room reform, and that it would hopefully lead to further legislation.
Both pieces will be discussed further and more than likely voted upon in the next meeting.