By Lakisha Brown
It’s important for the college’s administrators to communicate to the student body regarding matters that will impact them. Students need transparency from the school and multiple forums that effectively transfer pertinent information to the population that needs it most. In many cases, students aren’t well-informed, causing them to make poor choices and preventing them from being active participants in events or matters that significantly affect them. Students are voiceless, not because they don’t care, but because they don’t have the proper information necessary to speak up.
Awareness is critical to the student body because it’s the first step in having a voice. Students are denied a voice because they frequently have a lack of information regarding events in which they could be heard. College events typically have low student turn-out results because they are not using effective measures of communication to reach the average student. The school has poor and ineffective communication skills for millennials and they will continue to paralyze the student body by silencing them, if they don’t take necessary measures to improve communication.
Currently, the college’s most popular form of messaging students is through the school’s email. However, millennials are the generation of social media. You have to use the most preferred or utilized form of communication if you want to connect with them. It’s not wise to dictate the type of communication, expecting students to conform to the institution. The student body is responsible for financing $115 million of the school’s operating budget for the year 2015-2016, and the least the school can do is respect them and give students the voice they deserve. Refusing to use the most up-to-date technology is irresponsible for an institution which relies so heavily on its student body.
Students aren’t encouraged to get involved and have a voice because the school may benefit from it, the less you know—the less you ask questions. The agenda of the student liaison committee is “To encourage representation to the Senate, to meet during the academic year for exchange of information about items affecting both faculty and students, to recommend policies relevant to both the Senate and student governance organization and to maintain sole responsibility for coordination and selection of the Daniel DePonte Student of the Year award,” according to the college website. The student liaison committee typically meets once per semester and they have no student attendees. The student meal plan went into effect for the Grant and Ammerman campuses, and students didn’t have a say. Tuition and fees are ever-increasing and students are clueless on matters concerning the school’s operating budget. Everything is affecting their finances, education, and opportunities, yet they are the last to know about it. The Student Government Association represents the student’s voice for academic, social, and cultural affairs. Students are invited to assist them in serving the student body, but there is still a lack of student involvement. Many of the organizations built for the student’s voice and expression don’t have the support they need because students are not informed.
The school have a social media presence on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, the websites don’t allow exchange of conversation between students and the school. Also, the school doesn’t utilize those forums to inform the students on important matters, instead it’s used to preserve the image of the college. The student population for 2015-2016 is approximately 27,000, yet the school’s Twitter account only has 1,736 followers. The school uses social media to advertise for the college, more than a means to enlighten the students. They don’t use social media correctly, as a result, students don’t follow them.
The college desperately needs a different approach to transparency and communication. Several clubs and organizations exist on campus, but they don’t have effective recruiting methods. Young people are highly influence by other youth, so if you want student’s attention, you need student involvement. Students should be highly encouraged to have a voice and speak up for themselves. Special emphasis and attention should be on communicating to students. Sending a mass message for teachers to relay to students or physically sending representatives to classes to present information to students will boost results. A mobile app or any social media platform would increase communication significantly if students are allowed to exchange information and interact with the school. Students need to be informed and they deserve the opportunity to speak and be heard on matters that affect their lives. Restoring communication from the college will increase student participation and reestablish the student’s voice.