On Monday, January 20 at 5 p.m., students gathered in Schewe 210 to give their opinions on their experience at Illinois College. This is one of the five student strategy sessions that were held for students to register, attend, and give their input.
These sessions were put together by President Farley as part of her initiative to improve Illinois College overall. Unable to attend every session, the input students gave from every session was to be given to President Farley. Students were then told that this input would be incorporated into President Farley’s plan to improve campus, which she plans to do over the next 5 to 10 years.
The Monday night session held five students participating. While the numbers were small, the amount of input never fell short. Students arrived with notes of things they already wanted to discuss and took notes throughout the session. It was easy to see that these students took their input seriously.
Senior and Student Forum President, Jasper Brown, assisted in running the session with Dean of Student Affairs, Malinda Carlson. “I want to thank all of you for taking time out of your schedules to be here tonight,” Carlson said to students when she first arrived. Carlson then continued to explain how the session would run. The session would be split into three categories; excellence, affordability, and recognition. Brown wrote the ideas students had on a whiteboard while Carlson kept the discussion going and asked questions about certain ideas students offered.
For each of the three topics discussed, students were asked to consider two questions; “What are we doing well at?” and “What do we need to improve?” Students had input on a variety of aspects of campus life from student organizations to dining options.
When it came to discussing the marketing of Illinois College to the outside world, President Farley, who had joined the session later, even had a few questions for students. “How do you feel about the use of social media?” President Farley asked the students. President Farley has been quite adamant about using social media, mainly Facebook, to promote Illinois College. She even has her own page on Facebook that she updates quite frequently. The students all agreed that the use of social media to market the college was a great idea in reaching prospective students.
The session, with only five students participating, lasted the whole one and a half hours it was scheduled to last. All of the students vocalized their opinions fully. These opinions expressed not only the happiness they had for their experiences at Illinois College but also how to make those experiences better for future Illinois College students.
The other four sessions held were Friday, January 17 at 12:00-1:30 pm, Tuesday, January 21 at 7:00-8:30 pm and 8:30-10:00 pm, and Wednesday, January 22 at 11:00 am-12:30 pm.