ASCUI forum gives students face time with administration
The Concordia Courier
By John Symank | 3/17/2023
On March 8, Concordia hosted a CUI Leadership Student forum, giving students an opportunity to speak with campus leadership, and air any questions they have about the state of campus.
The forum was moderated by ASCUI vice president Megan Auringer, and featured President Michael Thomas, Associate Director of Campus Safety Steve Rodriguez, Director of Campus Operations and Logistics Jane Doherty, Bon Appetit general manager Craig Irby, Director of Residence Life and Housing Erin Komin, Vice President of University Operations and Athletics Tim Odle, and Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Megan Bouslaugh.
One of the first questions asked by a student inquired about the possibility of new furniture being installed at locations across campus, and what “things we can expect, and what’s in the works?”
“We’re working on negotiations to get a good contract for new dorm furniture,” said Odle. “The plan will be half and half, so half over the summer of this year and half over the summer of next year.”
“The next question on that will be, well, what buildings? We’re not sure yet,” Odle continued, “We are replacing the furniture, as well as attempting to get all the buildings painted on the interior, as well as the exterior over the next two summers. The other thing is flooring, we’re looking at trying to schedule to replace flooring as well.”
President Thomas was asked about The Courier by a student questioning if the paper’s purpose was “propaganda for donors” and asking if there was censorship from administration related to articles that are featured in the publication.
“The newspaper is distributed on campus, it’s not distributed to donors, so that doesn’t make too much sense to me,” Thomas said. While Thomas acknowledged that some topics “probably would be out of line,” he continued, “We never want to curtail speech on this campus, in fact, we want to promote dialogue about all different types of topics.”
Another student asked about the possibility of including new offerings at the cafeteria, such as an open taco bar, or pasta bar, mentioning that those meals are often the most popular at the Caf.
Irby agreed with the student’s sentiment, stating that the taco meal earlier in the week had been very popular, and adding that the pasta bars are a good option for proteins and starches.
“You know, again, this isn’t my cafe, this is your cafe,” he continued. “Your feedback is super important to me, being able to elevate Bon Appetit. This kind of criticism is amazing, this is what we need.” Irby added that the Caf is hoping to “add more to the cafe that we kind of lost during COVID.”
A question was asked of Campus Safety, by a student inquiring about why Concordia had installed new “safety call towers” around campus, as other colleges, locally and elsewhere, were removing them.
“A lot of universities installed those back in the day when they had to run electricity and data phone lines to those phones, ages ago,” said Rodriguez. “What we installed is different, it's not an old-school traditional phone. Everything’s solar powered, and they use a boosted cell signal on it.”
“So if somebody were to, let's say, be in an area where their cell phone may not have good coverage, say the east parking lot or west parking lot…it's a nice redundancy to have that,” he continued. “The purpose of those phones is a redundancy, in case there is an emergency, in case someone doesn’t have their phone on them and they need to get in touch with Campus Safety.”
The Wi-Fi on campus was also mentioned, as many students have experienced severe slowness and minimal connectivity. Odle promised that the IT department is “very much aware,” and that “We’re working on it.”
For more information about new campus projects and activities reach out to ASCUI. The ASCUI Senate also hosts an online form open to students to provide opinions and feedback at https://www.cui.edu/studentlife/student-leadership/ascui-senate.
About John Symank
John Symank is the Local and Global News Editor for the Concordia Courier, Concordia University Irvine’s student-led newspaper. He is currently a junior, completing a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Mass Communication, and a minor in Business Administration.
As the Local and Global News Editor, John writes articles about world events and happenings around Irvine and the surrounding areas. He works with students and professors to get opinions on these events and express the opinions of campus, and uses these viewpoints to construct well informed and instructive stories.
John has been writing or editing for newspapers since 2017, when he began writing for his high school newspaper, The Californian. He hopes to use his experience both with The Californian and The Courier to build his skills as a writer.
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