December 4, 2020

Editorial: Suggestions on Delegate’s Agenda

At Webster University, students have a scheduled opportunity to voice their concerns and offer solutions to the administration. On Feb. 1, student leaders will discuss and decide which five issues to present to the administration at Delegates’ Agenda for the sake of student advocacy.
As that day approaches, The Journal would like to offer some advice to student leaders. These are what issues we feel should be brought to the administration’s attention: Webster’s Financial Aid Office, the addition of temporary media center and darkroom cards and better dining options.
At a time when Webster is dealing with a projected $12.2 million budget shortfall, low enrollment, international expansion and much more, The Journal feels placing more emphasis on three issues is better than five. We feel the administration will be stretched too thin with five issues and it is in the best interest of the student body to choose three and to make those three count.
In regards to financial aid, student leaders should demand a more organized and better staffed Financial Aid Office.
We know Financial Aid has been discussed at Officers’ Summit and Delegates’ Agenda in the past. Because of this, we urge student leaders to not let that stop them from putting it on the agenda again. Financial Aid is still a problem. Students have complained that paperwork has been lost and communication of changes has been poor.
One possible solution is for the administration to designate a form of communication (email, phone number, etc.) for student suggestions and concerns specifically in regards to financial aid.
Webster recently announced it will hold new hires except for key positions that need to be replaced. This is in an effort to stay within budget for the fiscal year. The Journal believes Financial Aid staff positions are key.
We believe hiring additional staff in the Financial Aid office is necessary in order for the office to run more efficiently.
Student leaders should also insist on temporary media center and darkroom cards for students who understand the equipment but aren’t enrolled in a class that uses the equipment.
If a student isn’t enrolled in a class that requires a media center or darkroom card, they cannot check out equipment. If they want to shoot video at an event on campus to improve their video skills, they cannot access all of the equipment they may need without a card.
The Journal recommends implementing temporary media center and darkroom cards. A student can fill out a form, and have a teacher sign off that the student knows the equipment they are asking permission to use. Then, the media center or darkroom can issue the student a card for that equipment for a one- to two-week period. After the two weeks, the student would not be able to check out equipment. Also, we suggest placing a cap on how many times a semester a student can receive a temporary card. Placing a limit on it would help ensure that there was enough equipment available for students who need it to pass their classes.
And lastly, student leaders should demand better dining options.
Webster’s dining offers healthy options. However, dining needs to offer a better variety and better tasting healthy choices.  The dining advisory board can be of assistance in making this change. But, the change needs to be in collaboration with the administration. The administration needs to know dining is important. Dining affects the health and overall well being of Webster’s student body.
Don’t be afraid to put an issue from a past Delegates’ Agenda on the agenda again this semester. Student leaders shouldn’t let the advisors of Delegates’ Agenda steer them away from issues they believe have not been resolved. If student leaders feel the issue hasn’t been addressed, they should let the administration know and to hold them accountable for making that change.
The Journal urges student leaders to follow through on what issues they present. Demand progress reports from the administration because a 20-minute speech about what the administration has done since the previous Delegates’ Agenda isn’t enough.
Don’t forget about the issues after the Delegates’ Agenda response is over. Also, know that The Journal will do its best to fulfill our watchdog role and hold the administration accountable for the promises they make to the student body.

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