At the start of a semester there are always changes happening around campus to try and improve the student experience and update the university as a whole.
This year brought in changes to faculty and staff, revisions to departments on campus and new physical facilities.
One of the largest changes to the student experience is the revision and assessment of the meal plans on campus.
The goals of these changes are intended to increase dining hours, improve the consistency and quality of food, and add flexibility to meals by allocating more munch money.
A major change to the meal service on campus is when meal exchange is available in the Commons, meal exchange can not be used in other locations such as the Dugout and Coffee Shop.
This change is intended to increase the quality of service by moving students into one location at high traffic times of the day.
If students have feedback about these changes to the meal plan and Sodexo services they should contact Tripper Phipps directly at [email protected] or at 309-556-3167.
Phipps will attend the first Student Senate meeting on September 15 at 6 p.m. to address student responses.
Last semester brought together the two separate offices of Greek Life and Student Activities together to merge into the Office of Student Involvement.
Kevin Carey was named Director and Marjorie Miller was named Assistant Director of the new office.
“The Office of Student Involvement is prepared to support all students interests and engagements on campus in a holistic and intersectional way.
We believe with the office’s generalist approach to involvement more collaboration and relationships among students and organizations will occur.
We are here to listen, advocate and support the variety of ways students want to be involved in the Illinois Wesleyan community,” Carey said.
Improving the student experience is not limited to organizations.
The office strives to enhance the physical space of Hansen Student Center by hosting movie and trivia nights in the space.
This addition should bring some vibrancy to a space that has been consistently underutilized on campus.
Darcy Greder, a long standing member of the IWU community, retired last spring and left a variety of different responsibilities behind.
One responsibility she had was working as Title IX deputy where she dealt with situations of sexual misconduct relating to the student body.
Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger has taken over as Title IX deputy, bringing more advocacy to her role and focusing on any issues within the process.
As Winger moved into this role, she no longer can act as a confidential reporter.
That being said, the new Coordinator of Multi-Faith Engagement can refer students to spiritual confidential reporters in the community.
Greder’s judiciary roles have been shifted over to Brandon Common and the Office of
Residential Life is taking over incident reporting within the residence halls.
As for the administration of the University, President Nugent started her first few weeks of the semester at IWU giving the speech at the President’s Convocation.
She advocated for a year of change and trying to decipher fact from fiction and testing the reliability of sources, as is on par with the annual theme.
Nugent will only be at the university for a year as the presidential search committee looks for a permanent president.
The committee is comprised of the board of trustees, faculty, staff, and student representative Lok Wah Chook.
“I want to be able to be an advocate for all parts of the student body – whether it’s for nursing majors or for physics majors, for students who are extremely active on our campus or for students who are not as active.
I think it’s important to hit the entire spectrum and I’ll try my best.
Along with being an advocate for students, I also hope that I will be able to help possible candidates see what IWU is all about,” Chook said.
In addition to all of the changes to improve the student experience, several physical spaces on campus were updated over the summer.
The Courtyard Project has come to a close and will be dedicated this Sunday at 5:30 p.m. prior to the first Student Senate Meeting of the semester.
This space will over more outdoor programming space and improve an underutilized area on campus for students, staff and faculty.
Next to the courtyard is the Titan Printing and Mail Center, the new location for IWU’s centralized mail system.
The intent behind altering the mail system was to provide better services and speed up delivery to improve customer service as well as increase cost efficiency.
The Soundstage is the newest updated physical space that is still under construction at the Ames Library.
Once completed, Soundstage will be a film and sound recording facility open to all students with an interest in film, video and media productions.
While change is inevitable, students can voice their opinions at the first Student Senate meeting of the semester this Sunday at 6 p.m.