President Student Advisory Council meets to discuss ideas, plans for Fall 2016

Sun, 2016/10/02

This past Thursday afternoon marked the first President's Student Advisory Council Meeting (PSAC) for the 2016-2017 school year. The PSAC is a committee of representatives from different aspects of student life such as Athletics and Greek Life that gather with the President and Provost monthly to address their concerns and ideas about improving campus and the relationship between students and administration. 12 PSAC members along with President Cramb and Provost Bronet talked about 3 issues: Student Issue and Ticketing System, Transparency in policy changes, and involvement with developing areas of Chicago.

The first topic in the meeting was brought up by Gabriel Conners. He discussed creating a new ticketing platform for student input on issues that would work in a similar way to maintenance or OTS tickets. The main objective would be to have a channel for students who have concerns but don’t know how to go about solving them. The following discussion was primarily about logistics and how the system could realistically be implemented either through a tab on MyIIT or its own website. The President and Provost liked the idea but stressed the importance of making benchmarks, having the system be transparent, and filtering out individual issue in favor of larger, more general matters. President Cramb mentioned contacting the Staff Advisory Chair, Jacqueline Anderson, about collaborating on the idea.

The next topic was brought up was a desire to have more transparency from the administration when it comes to making policy changes. There were some issues such as feeling as though the updated alcohol policy was treating students unfairly or that the new student handbook was barring students from their right to protest. After clarification by the President and Provost the board decided that the main problem that needs to be addressed in all of this is the issue of communication. Provost Bronet mentioned that sometimes the administration my not be aware of what can cause an issue and that communication, possibly through the PSAC, SGA, or another student group can make sure that students voices are being heard. President Cramb said that he is very interested in feedback from students when it comes to policymaking.

The last topic to be brought up was about how Illinois Tech can be more involved with the surrounding community. President Cramb mentioned the current efforts of the university to connect with the community and gave contacts so that the board could work on finding a way for students to get more involved with these community outreach programs. Conners brought up the idea of having a “community corner” to inform students and community members about what is going on with each other and have a way for the neighbors to be more involved. Provost Bronet showed her support for the idea of having a community corner, talking about how it aligned with her idea of “make the invisible visible”.

The meeting ended with the president concluding that the topics discussed were important and open-ended and that the PSAC could spend the rest of the semester on them. President Cramb and Provost Bronet suggested that they divide into subcommittees to efficiently get the work done. The next meeting will be sometime next month and the PSAC will meet before then to discuss next steps.