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College VPs hear student views on arts, housing, coursework
Dec 4, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
Central Wyoming College students had the chance to express their opinions about the school during the first-ever "Let Your Voice Be Heard" event on the Riverton campus.
Two top administrators -- executive vice president for student and academic services Jason Wood and vice president for administrative services Ron Granger -- were stationed in CWC's Fremont Room for two hours Wednesday, offering free pizza and open ears to students who stopped by.
"We wanted an opportunity to hear from students, so we thought we would give them a forum that's not intimidating," Wood said during the event.
Several tables in the Fremont Room were filled with students engaged in conversation with Granger and Wood. Lanna Rios, a photography and graphic design major, said she decided to attend as a representative of the CWC art department. She said she has noticed an emphasis on health, science and technology at the college, and she doesn't want administrators to forget about the arts.
"We're stuck in a concrete building, the most non-creative building ever," Rios said.
She spoke with Wood about the potential for a photography studio on campus. Currently, Rios said, photography students have trouble finding space to set up photo shoots, and they have to keep their equipment in lockers.
"I'd like to see more space for that, an actual room," Rios said. "I think it would enhance our photography department."
Rios said she appreciated the chance to speak one-on-one with administrators, whose busy schedules often make it difficult for them to meet with students individually. Granger said many students communicate better face-to-face, which is why he was enjoying Wednesday's event.
"I don't get the opportunity to interact with students as much," Granger said. "Sometimes we don't know what their needs are."
Granger heard suggestions about residence halls and class offerings on Wednesday, and Wood answered questions from students while also responding to their complaints. He offered his own ideas as well: Wood said he plans to approach the board about the possibility of offering free summer housing to CWC students who successfully complete 12 credits during the summer semester.
"That was really cool," Wood said. "I had 25 students here, and when they heard that, they were like, "Wow."
Student Gigi Holley was glad to get the early information from Wood. The CWC board will have to approve Wood's proposal before the free housing idea becomes a reality, but Holley said she will likely enroll in more summer classes now.
"It's good to hear firsthand what's coming up," she said. "Now I can start planning."
Having come from a larger university in Michigan, Holley said it was refreshing to see administrators mingling with students.
"This is so homey," she said. "I want to thank these guys for what they're doing."
Wood and Granger said they plan to host similar events in the future.