Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Open Forum

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I attended Campus Climate's Open Forum this afternoon just to see what it was all about. I haven't gone to these open forums before and now I feel that it would have been a beneficial event to attend. Now I'm not sure if Campus Climate does this annually, but a good number of students were present in the Springer Suites, where the event took place.

I was only there for the last half hour. The Q & A between the panel and students was worth listening to for anyone interested in current university issues and plans for Dominican's future.

The panel consisted of Dean Jeff Carlson, President Donna Carroll, Dean of Students Trudi Goggin, Senior Vice President for Administration Amy McCormack and University Controller Dick Walstra. McCormack discussed the campus master plan and the hope to have a student center which she called "the heart of campus." It will be three floors and a sitting and gathering area for students. The Grill, which is more the Non-Grill when it was taken out as a food service last year, will be renovated and redecorated. Though it is clear that the renovation of the Grill is a gradual work in progress.

Also, what I found interesting was the discussion of what to do with the pool that probably was last used when I was a freshman. Or maybe even before then. I never swam there, so I don't know for sure. Trudi Goggin said that they plan "to redefine the space that has the pool" and possibly use it as a recreational space for activities like dance and intramurals.

I've seen the dance team practice in the Social Hall or more recently, in the gym while basketball practice was going on as well. I think it would be great to use the space where the pool is now for recreational activities.

McCormack said that she looks at first what has a payback - where they can save the most money with the projects they decide for the university. It is also important to "do things that serve the most amount of students" according to McCormack. It doesn't mean that other projects that don't target a large group of students will be ignored; it's just about setting up priorities.

I thought this made sense - since after all, would you want to spend a lot of money on something that only benefits a select few?

Overall, I found the Open Forum informative. If there is another similar event this school year, I hope to be there longer to get a wider scope of the issues brought forward.

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