Editorial: Students ignore rare opportunity

This past Tuesday students had the opportunity to tell the Villanova University administration anything and everything they wanted. The Student Government Association sponsored Villanova’s first Town Hall Meeting. A student could have gone before Dean Paul Pugh and asked why there is no “drunk bus” at Villanova, or stood up to ask Athletic Director Vince Nicastro and Facilities Director Robert Morrow if an on-campus recreation center is ever going to be built. Besides these three administrators there were several more in attendance. Dining Services Director Tim Dietzler, Vice President of Academic Affairs John Immerwhar, University Vice President Helen Lafferty and Director of Student Development Tom Mogan were all present to answer students’ questions and address their concerns.

Every student at Villanova has questions and concerns about the school’s rules, procedures and atmosphere. Why then, did only 26 students show up to get their questions answered and to listen to their peers’ concerns? Twenty-six students out of over 6,500; that is less than one percent and quite frankly, that is sad. In fact, many students were probably sitting in rooms at the time complaining about how there isn’t a good place to work out, or how they are frustrated with figuring out summer classes, or wondering why the RA’s picked that room to search during the fire drills. All of these common concerns with the school were addressed as well as many more.

The students who did attend were given at least one question that SGA had prepared, and then were given the opportunity to ask whatever they wanted. Every administrator there was open to all of the questions and addressed each one thoroughly. Even difficult questions such as “When is a boat house going to be built for the women’s crew team?” and “Why is there no set place for Arts students to study?” were answered honestly and with thorough explanations. It was clear that the administrators were pleased to be given the opportunity to talk directly with students, but the number of students who took advantage of that was definitely inadequate.

It was originally thought that the event was being well-publicized – but flyers in the dorms, an ad on SGA TV, multiple e-mails and word of mouth apparently were not enough. It is disappointing that while the administrators cared enough to do this, less than one percent of the student body cared as much. Hopefully, the administrators and SGA will give it another try and perhaps this time, instead of complaining to roommates, students might actually show up to talk to the people that make the decisions.