Student leaders have the opportunity to bring campus issues to Webster University’s administration twice a year. After reviewing the five issues chosen on Friday, The Journal believes they wasted an opportunity with what they considered issues worth presenting to the administration.
The five issues chosen were:
—Procuring a Webster application for smartphones and tablets.
—Increasing lighting and safety measures around Webster.
—Enhancing the natural spaces on campus.
—Creating a system that would allow students to charge textbooks to their Webster account.
—Introducing a December graduation ceremony.
The Journal thinks the Webster smartphone application and enhancing natural spaces are easily solveable without having to present them to the administration and a December graduation ceremony is not financially feasable.
A Webster smartphone application would be beneficial to students. It would be relatively inexpensive, which means it is a more likely possibility. If Webster does procure an app, it will make student life easier. This is good for the university because it makes them look better in the eyes of current and prospective students.
However, while we feel this is a beneficial addition to the university, we don’t feel it is worthy of the student’s limited time with the administration. Delegates’ Agenda should be used to present important issues that require the administration’s attention, issues that can’t be solved in a simple phone call or email. This same principle also holds true for enhancing natural spaces.
For example, enhancing natural areas on campus is not a serious issue. This can be solved by simply talking to facilities and grounds keeping. The student body doesn’t need to bother the administration with it. There are student organizations like the Gardening Club or Webster Students for Environmental Sustainability can help as well.
The administration won’t make many changes regarding the issue of a December graduation ceremony. We feel December graduates deserve the hype of May graduation. However, The Journal doesn’t expect the administration to add an elaborate December graduation ceremony because of the financial costs.
The Journal feels these three “issues” are wasting an opportunity for the student body to solve legitimate issues.
On a seperate note, Webster is making budget cuts this semester in an attempt to avoid not meeting budget. After this fiscal year, Webster’s financial situation is not going to suddenly bounce back. Low enrollment is a national trend and will still be an issue next year. Since 97 percent of Webster’s revenue is from tuition, low enrollment makes a significant impact.
The Journal doesn’t think adding the costs of a December graduation ceremony is financially responsible for the university at this time. It might be something the administration can consider in a year with higher enrollment numbers.
We are disappointed that serious issues such as reoccurring problems in Webster’s Financial Aid Office were bumped off of the list to encourage the administration to plant more flowers.
The Journal appreciates student leaders’ request for increased safety, but we are unsure why the security problem was not fixed after it was presented on at Delegates’ Agenda in 2010. We understand this is not a problem with student leaders, but rather the administration’s half-hearted response to the original complaint.
Student leaders already gave the administration multiple areas for increased safety such as replacing light bulbs, more card swipe building access. With the proper pressure, the administration might finally make changes they promised in 2010.
However,the ability to charge textbooks directly to student accounts is an issue The Journal feels is worthy of the administration’s time.
Textbooks are expensive. It would be more beneficial for a student to be able to charge textbooks to their student account and pay it off over the course of the semester rather than blowing a whole paycheck at one time.
This issue affects students and the solution involves some research and collaboration.
Even though we feel only one of the chosen issues is worth the Delegates’ Agenda’s time, The Journal still urges student leaders to follow through on what issues they have chosen.
These issues have easy solutions. If members of Webster’s administration can’t fix these “issues,” then they just don’t care.