Presidentshould work with other university officials to create a more accessible Texas State atmosphere that will enable students to express their comments and concerns openly with administrators.
Students are invited to speak with Trauth during four pre-scheduled events including Open Door sessions, the Associate Student Government Round Table and a Cat Chat discussion this semester. These events are devoted to addressing student issues and concerns. It would seem as though Trauth was doing everything possible to reach the student body. However, this does not seem to be the case.
The sessions held by President Trauth are designed to give students a chance to voice their opinions about aspects of the university. However, it seems as though the events are not all encompassing. Nine students seized the opportunity to speak with Trauth about issues at the first Open Door session, according to a Feb. 7 University Star article. The student population is at more than 34,000, and having a small portion of that community come to the sessions is not enough to address the sheer number of concerns across campus.
Some may feel deterred from confiding in Trauth because of her lack of accessibility, but others may believe that the low Open Door session turnout is due to student apathy. Trauth must get more directly involved with the student body she oversees in order for Texas State administrators to seem more relatable as a whole. President Trauth’s absences at simple events such as organization fairs and campus activities have made it difficult for students to relate to her on a personal level.
Students may gather a warmer, more personable feeling from Texas A&M University’s President R. Bowen Loftin when comparing his information page to Trauth’s biography on the Texas State website. The A&M president has his own Facebook and Twitter accounts where friends and followers can see how active he is with the student body. Loftin is very up-to-date with his students through Twitter replies and mentions and weekly updates about the campus and administration.
The entire campus could benefit from Trauth utilizing social media and connecting with her students in a new way. Trauth is already a very effective president, and she continually makes important decisions for the Texas State community. However, the university administration, by forming a closer relationship with students, could be even more productive with greater Bobcat input. Students may be more comfortable discussing their problems and concerns to make a positive impact on the campus in the long run, if they feel better acquainted with Trauth.
Students are being offered exclusive chances to visit with Trauth this semester, but the events can be more effective if she makes her presence more greatly known to the student body. Open Door sessions could be held as administrator question-and-answer panels in teaching theaters to allow a greater flow of students, and the events could be widely advertised across campus. According to the same University Star article, Trauth was “supportive” and gave students a feeling of hope as they left the recent Open Door session. Imagine what she could do as a more present force in the Texas State community, if this is how the President is behind office doors.
The possibilities for cooperative growth and change in the Texas State community will be completely endless if Trauth can put more time toward interacting and developing better relationships with her student constituency.