Student meeting affirms Southern

Turnout reached approximately 50 for the student session with the Higher Learning Commission on April 1.

Residence Hall Assistants, members of Student Senate, and Greek representatives made up the bulk of the attendees. Students expressed concerns over issues at Missouri Southern and also touted its benefits before the panel of four.

“This is the largest [student session] turnout I’ve ever attended,” said HLC member Dr. Andrew Manion of Aurora University. “I have been on visits where I have had four students out of 10,000.”

Dr. Robert Guell of Indiana State University saw dedication written across student apparel.

“I’m also impressed by your campus pride in yourself,” Guell said. “I have yet to see a sweatshirt from a campus other than this one.”

Students brought up a variety of topics during the HLC student session. From food on campus to the First-Year Experience, students shared their concerns and stories.

“I think its really good that they’re here,” said Lindsey Herbert, senior biology and Spanish major. “A lot of time it is hard to get our opinion to the higher-ups.”

Several students, including Herbert, requested administrators look into rotating instructors for required major classes taught by only one individual per department. Citing teaching style or personality conflicts, Herbert said locking required classes to one instructor can keep students from reaching their full potential.

Matt Baum, junior communication major wishes Southern offered night classes in his major. A transfer student from Longview Community College and former criminal justice major he says funding should not be the scapegoat for offering few to no night classes outside of core.

“I think if they focused on it they could do it,” Baum said.

Students discussed the lack of student life or difficulty of spreading the word about planned events. Baum says he is encouraged by the addition of the recreation center and says when it opens many of the concerns will resolve themselves.

Other students discussed recent policy changes. Luke Sheafer, senior marketing major, said the drop policy was confusion. One of his friends was dropped from class, but not notified by the instructor or housing and only learned about it when they tried to enroll in classes.

“My biggest complaint was the communication,” Sheafer said. “If you got dropped you wouldn’t know about it.”

Committee members said they were pleased with the balanced perspective both pro and con offered by students during the meeting.

“They understand the University and have solid suggestions for ways the University could be improved,” Manion said.