Bobcats must take advantage of Open Door sessions

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Students are notorious for complaining about university policies, but Bobcats no longer have an excuse to criticize without taking action since more Open Door sessions with the university’s top administrator are available this semester.

Bobcats have always been vocal when it comes to expressing their opinions about the university’s functions. When it comes time to actually speak with President Denise Trauth about such issues, however, students are markedly absent.

According to a Feb. 7, 2013 University Star article, only nine students attended the Open Door session with Trauth held last February. According to the same article, the already low turnout at the session was higher than it had been in previous years. Instead of complaining about the university’s actions and policies casually with their friends, more students need to actually take advantage of a unique chance to directly voice their opinions with the university’s highest official.

Many argue that poor Open Door attendance is due to a lack of advertising and a poor location. Since last fall, however, the president’s office has made a concerted public effort to make the existence of such sessions more widely known and offers them in more accessible locations.

In an effort to garner more student interest for such events, the Texas State website, as well as the official university Facebook and Twitter pages, is advertising the sessions regularly. Flyers posted around campus also provide information the sessions, as well as a campus-wide email. The existence of Open Door sessions should be obvious to most students on campus by now.

According to the Texas State website, students have the opportunity to participate in four Open Door sessions scheduled for this semester, the first of which is held today beginning at 3 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center. An Associated Student Government Round Table featuring Trauth and other administrators is scheduled for March 25 at 5 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom. A registration-only Cat Chat with Trauth will take place April 1 at 3 p.m. in the Reed Parr room at the J.C. Kellam administration building. A final Open Door session will be held at 3 p.m. April 16 in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom.

Sessions in previous years were held in the president’s office at J.C. Kellam, a far less accessible location than the current venue, the LBJ Student Center. Students have no excuse to keep their comments inside and avoid airing grievances directly to Trauth, especially since the Open Door events are centrally located, scheduled at reasonable hours, held at many dates throughout the semester and do not require any prior registration. It is easy to complain about issues openly among fellow students, but it solves nothing if these issues are not brought directly to university officials when the opportunity
is offered.

At other universities, many officials in the same position as Trauth would never schedule time throughout the semester to directly speak with students. Even if no changes actually result from these Open Door sessions, it is still better to make concerns apparent to officials rather than simply complaining amongst fellow students.

If students are genuinely concerned about the way the university is run, they should take the initiative to attend one of the four Open Door events this semester.