Presidential Forum Addressed Student Concerns on Campus

By Anna Kleinschnitz, Editorial Editor

The La Roche University Student Government Association (SGA) hosted its first presidential forum of the academic year.

The Presidential Forum, with Sister Candace Introcaso, took place on Nov. 9 and, according to Sr. Candance, was the most well-attended forum she had ever seen.

It began with an address from the SGA President, Ammiel Francis. He said that the event was a blessing, and that students should take advantage of events like these.

Sr. Candance sat at the front of the room with a red sweater and a smile in her eyes. “I’m very happy to be here,” she said. The back of the room held the entirety of the women’s lacrosse team, who had showed up to the event in a sign of solidarity for their sister, Tashai Thompson, who was the moderator.

The first question of the night asked what new changes and developments were currently underway. Sr. Candance was excited to answer this question and began talking about the campus master plan; this plan is set to take place over the next 10 years.

Some of these changes have already happened —the parcel pending lockers being one of them— but there is more to come. There is a plan to change the parking lot to accommodate more commuters, to get rid of the modulars and create more green space on campus, and to expand the Huber Center, dependent on university growth.

The next student question asked if the University could add lights could to the soccer field. “The short answer is no,” said Sr. Candance. Due to the complaints by the campus’ neighbors, this is unlikely to happen.

Questions three and four revolved around benches on the field: adding more and moving them around. There was no definitive answer for these questions, but Sr. Candance promised that she would look into the situation.

The next question asked if a stoplight could be added to the turn on to Duncan Avenue. Since this is a road problem, the La Roche President said that they should take up complaints with McCandless. She then stated that, in the 10-year campus master plan, there are plans to possibly connect the fitness center and the fields behind the school.

One student asked if it was possible to repaint the lines behind Mahler Hall. They had trouble finding parking and turning around since there is no good way to turn in the parking lot. The La Roche President said that, while McCandless determines the size of parking spots, she can investigate the issue and try to fix it.

Another question asked if there was a possibility for more hybrid classes in the future. Sr. Candance said that she would have to talk to the Provost about that issue, but that many teachers were upset with Zoom classes.

One student claimed that students like the hybrids, but teachers were at fault for not adapting the classroom and making it interactive for students.

Sr. Candance claimed that La Roche prefers the tried-and-true gold standard of in-person teaching. She then went on to say that hybrids aren’t a permanent solution and that students pay for a full experience.

The next question asked if comfier chairs could be provided for the dorm rooms, as many people dislike the rocking chairs and claimed that they fell often. “We can look into it, yeah,” said the president. She appreciated the honesty about the claims of chairs being uncomfortable or dirty.

A few students spoke up after this, claiming that they had experienced bugs in their rooms; they said they often saw earwigs and centipedes crawling around. The La Roche President said she would send someone to spray.

One student then said that she was experiencing mold in her room, and that while she took action to try and solve it, the University has done nothing about the issue permanently. The La Roche President was shocked that this had happened and informed the forum that she would take care of the issue, and that they would soon replace furnaces and other big-ticket items in Bold Hall.

The next question asked if there was a way to begin doing Daily Mass in the chapel. Sr. Candance said that if people want that, then yes, but they have never had a large attendance during Daily Mass.

Another asked if stress-free days could be implemented regularly. The La Roche President claimed that they would need to plan it in the calendar ahead of time, but that it was a possibility.

The next question asked if computers can be added into the resident halls for people who don’t have computers. “I don’t see why not,” Sr. Candance said. She put it into her notes and promised that she would consider it.

The second to last question asked was if the Redhawk Café could open on the weekends. The La Roche President claimed that they would have to consider the cost of doing so; she also agreed that the dining hall food can be gross sometimes.

Students raised concern over the degrees of students from the Virgin Islands; on their certificate, it states that they came to school on a Visa rather than claiming their U.S. citizenship. The La Roche President promised to investigate the problem and said she would fix this issue.

Lastly, a student asked if Sr. Candance would be interested in creating more encouragement to be religious in the University. She thought for a moment before answering that, “Time in college is where you explore.”

She said she wants La Roche University to be both a lighthouse and a crossroads for the students.

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