Update 11.28 a.m. March 10: This event was hosted by Student Government.
Student contact with university officials is often limited to their professors, and Bobcats sometimes view administrators as faceless authority figures.
Administration combatted this image by hosting a Round Table event Monday, where students were invited to speak freely with administrators on a personal level. The event is one in a series of seasonal Round Tables.
“Having events like this lets students get to personally know the administration at Texas State,” said Holly Pavlicek, communication disorders sophomore and Student Government director of programs and presidential candidate. “It’s a great way to stay informed about all the issues the different departments are working on.”
Administrators were seated at different tables and grouped by department or issue of interest in the LBJ Ballroom. Every 10 minutes, students had the chance to rotate to another table in order to make specific inquiries to administrators of their choosing.
“It’s always good to hear from administration about what’s going on behind the scenes,” said Student Government Senator Cutter Gonzalez, urban and regional planning junior.
Students in attendance arrived with intentions of discussing particular issues.
“I’m here today for an entrepreneurship class,” said Jaede Davis, business management sophomore. “I’m trying to affect change in the San Marcos community. My project today is that I’m trying to find out exactly where our tuition goes and how much of that money is allotted to the smaller, obscurer fees.”
The table the food services experts were seated at was one of the most popular of the night. When asked by a student about the development of Jones Dining Hall, Chartwells Marketing Director Steven Granados said the university is going for a deli-style concept.
“It’s going to be two stories, with possible 24-hour food options, and we’re looking at potentially having a pasta/pizza concept in front of the McCoy Garage entrance,” Granados said. “It’s going to be a very opened-up design to allow for lots of natural light.”
Panda Express and Dunkin’ Donuts have confirmed locations at Jones, but food services will also look into stocking new outlets with locally and regionally sourced produce, said Chin-Hong Chua, Chartwells’ resident district manager.
“Another big change we’re looking at is possibly having students pick your combination of meals in dollars,” said John Root, director of Auxiliary Services. “Commuters would be able to have more dollars for retail meals, and fewer for meal trades.”
Rosanne Proite, director of housing and residential life, spent her 10-minute cycles answering questions regarding possible concessions to be made in an attempt to lower pricing of new dorms.
“I want to say thanks to the students who have attended tonight, for being involved in this process,” said Lanita Legan, associate director of the LBJ Student Center. “We want to include students in any decision-making process that we are capable of. Think of this as outreach.”
Shannon Fitzpatrick, attorney for students, used to be an advisor to Student Government. The event was the first time she was invited to participate in Round Table.
“I’ve had fun listening and learning tonight,” Fitzpatrick said. “All the questions I have received have been very thoughtful. The students who came are prepared. They know who is here, and exactly what to ask. I wish more students would realize that this is a great opportunity to participate in democracy on campus.”
Carlos Solis, associate vice president for instructional technologies support, said he would like to see Round Tables hosted more often.
“My philosophy is that we serve the students, so one thing that is really important to me is that we hear from the students, that we receive input,” Solis said. “I think these 10 minutes go too fast. We need a more intensive dialogue with students.”
Other administration present included staff members from the Student Health Center, football operations, transportation services, and student affairs. Vicki Brittain, who spearheaded the Campus Carry Task Force, was also in attendance. President Denise Trauth was scheduled to attend, but was unable to make an appearance.
“This is the second time I’ve come to Round Table,” said Destiny Goodman, a political science junior. “Things are going to change because of us.”