The annual Town Hall Panel, coordinated by the Student Government Association (SGA) and co-sponsored with The Penmen Press, was held in the Hospitality Salons on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m.
Held each fall, “Town Hall is a great way for students to voice their concerns about campus and to receive the latest information about new campus projects and initiatives,” Vice President of SGA Deanna Dube and coordinator of the event said. “It is also an opportune time for offices that take part to hear about the programs other offices on campus are hosting and the normal services they provide students.”
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)’s various offices were invited to participate on the panel. Dean of Students, Heather Lorenz, Assistant Director of Diversity Programs, Michael Reaves; University Provost, Patricia Lynott, Director of the Wellness Center, Sheila Lambert;Director of Residence Life Shannon Brown; Veteran Support Services Coordinator, Michael McGandy; and Director of Center for Community Engaged Learning, Elizabeth Richards were present.
The Town Hall allowed for a casual discussion between staff and students. “I think it provides a really comfortable forum for students,” said Lynott, who sat on the Town Hall panel for the first time.
A variety of topics were discussed, including the construction on campus, themed housing, tuition, study abroad, Daniel Webster College (DWC), and international student assistance.
The new stadium under construction on Victory Lane is intended to benefit everyone on campus. It will provide sports teams with locker rooms, training rooms, function rooms, and additional field space, while also potentially freeing the gym in the Athletics Complex for nonathletes.
“There is zero tuition increase next year,” Lynott said in regards to a question on the expenses such as textbooks and parking passes that students pay for.
The National Student Exchange Program was discussed by Lorenz. There are plans for students to attend schools in different states across the country as an alternative to studying abroad.
The topic of international students feeling as though there is a lack of housing and health insurance assistance coming from the university was brought up, and the university confirmed they are working on this problem.
Zinah Alshukri, an Iraqi international graduate student came to the meeting with questions to ask the panelists. “The college is ready to listen, ready to answer,” Alshukri said after the meeting. “They are in touch with [their] students.”
“I hope the outcome of this event is an awareness among the student body about different offices around campus and their events and initiatives this year,” Dube said. “I think our panelist were very engaged with everyone. As soon as everyone warmed up, the questions flew.”