Students have a lot of problems on their plates right now. Projects and research papers are finally due, final exams begin on Friday, and that’s not even counting personal problems.
But those issues aside, what about the problems students have with the campus? At the President’s Roundtable Wednesday, Nov. 28, the administration took time to answer some of the concerns raised this semester.
“This is something I wanted to have since my first year. I wanted to hear from students, and we’ve gotten tremendous feedback from students,” said TAMUK President Steven Tallant.
The first issue on the agenda was the dining hall. Students raised concerns about its cleanliness, ice machines, and food variety.
The administration is looking into possible solutions for the ice shortage, and they’ve been working with Aramark to provide more food options, including more vegetarian dishes, said Terisa Riley, Senior Vice President for Fiscal and Student Affairs.
The next issue brought up was Student Rating of Instruction (SRIs). Students sometimes use their SRIs to give negative reviews about professors and professors are afraid that one bad review will cost them their tenure.
Third on the list was the increase of parking prices. The administration made a decision to repair roads, expand them, and improve drainage, Riley said.
“Parking will continue to be a problem as we grow. We need to adapt and be flexible and we will be,” Tallant said.
The administration is considering the construction of a parking garage, but it will cost at least $500 per student a semester, Tallant said.
The fourth issue on the list was what the administration would do if the 135-credit proposal in the Texas legislature passed. The new law would mandate that all students who take more than 135 hours will not receive financial aid, and they may be charged out-of-state tuition.
“Students are going to have to keep track of their hours. We, as a university, are going to have to educate you, advise you, and we have to have the courses you need,” Tallant said.
The fifth issue students voiced concerns about was class size. Students feel that with the growth TAMUK has experienced, class sizes will get out of hand.
“We have about 100 classrooms. Only a few can hold up to 80 students…we are making some efforts to make classrooms a little bit bigger,” said Rex Gandy, Provost.
Sixth on the list was supplemental instruction. Students said there were not enough tutors or subjects to be tutored in.
A student only needs to ask, and the Learning Assistance Center (LAC) will look for a tutor to cover the subject the student needs help in, said Juan Moreno, Director of the LAC.
In the Open Forum, students voiced concerns about sustainability, asked questions about how the university recruits professors, questioned whether more could be done for security around campus, and provided suggestions for lowering the dropout rate among freshman.
“The students care
about their education, they care about this campus, and if you listen to them, they have some great, great suggestions…these students don’t come to whine or complain, they come here to make this campus a better place,” Tallant said.