November 29, 2020

Administration addresses campus issues at Delegates’ Response

Members of Webster University’s administration gave a presentation in response to students’ issues raised at the Delegates’ Agenda. Several of the administration’s solutions were given in the context of the master plan.

The Delegates’ Agenda response was at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 22 in the University Center’s Sunnen Lounge. President Elizabeth Stroble said the response would put the topics raised at Delegates’ Agenda in a larger context. Student organization leaders chose the top five issues at the officers’ summit in early February. The Delegates’ Agenda student presentations regarding these issues were on Feb. 23.

The Top Five Issues were:
—Classroom furniture and building improvement
—Student organization storage space
—ID card access on campus
—Wellness
—Scholarships for international students

Stroble said the specific issues from Delegates’ Agenda were discussed and would be addressed in a larger frame.

“We’re in the spirit of don’t just paint a room, paint the whole house,” Stroble said.

Provost and Senior Vice President Julian Schuster discussed the issue of classroom furniture and building improvements in relation to the master plan. Schuster said in the new master plan, an interdisciplinary science building is a top priority.

“By building that facility (the interdisciplinary science building) in a — relatively speaking — short period of time, we are also going to go into the renovation of all of the exiting spaces,” Schuster said.

He said renovations will be made to H. Sam Priest House, Webster Hall, the Sverdrup building, the Thompson Music Building and East Academic Building.

In regards to student organizations’ storage, the administration proposed the creation of a new storage space under a stairwell in the Visual Arts Studio. This would be a solution until the master plan can fully address the storage issue. The administration chose the Visual Arts Studio’s space because it is close to the University Center and large enough to meet student organizations’ storage needs. The new space will have a lock. The issue of student storage will be further addressed in the future with the building of a new student center.

The university will take card swipe access into account as it renovates older buildings on campus in keeping with the master plan.

Suhani Fernando, freshman international student, presented on international students’ financial aid at the Delegates’ Agenda in February.

“I’m interested. I’d like to see this place grow,” Fernando said. “Master plan is something I think all students should think about.”

Dan Hitchell, associate vice president for resource planning and budget, said, depending on the program, cards can serve various functions. They can provide access into a building, and be used for meal plans and refunds. The university is searching for a new student debit card and will request proposals from Higher One, as well as other banks. Hitchell said students will be involved with the proposals the university receives.

Paul Carney, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs , said he strongly encourages students to become involved with the Wellness Committee. He said students interested in becoming involved should contact Cheryl Fritz, manager of Benefits and Compensation in Human Resources.

The university’s Internationalization Laboratory Steering Committee will take financial aid into account. The committee was formed in the fall and reviews the university’s international efforts. Carney pointed out that Webster has added new international scholarships in the last 18 months. The list includes the Elizabeth J. Stroble Global Scholarship Endowment Fund and the Lawrence Jehling Endorsed Scholarship for International Students.

“I’m an international student and I understand the plight international students go through,” Fernando, economics and education major, said.

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