Show up, or don’t expect students

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Amanda Graef

The executive team is as knowledgeable as the president.

When the administrators of this college schedule an event with students and offer the opportunity to speak to them, the people in power need to show up.

Pizza with the President is one of the best ways for students of this college to speak to the normally elusive members of this college’s executive team.

The casual atmosphere helps everyone feel at ease when discussing important topics with the college’s leadership. The event is free, it takes place mid-day, it’s all questions and answers, and free food is provided.

More than 160 people showed up.

So when this college’s entire leadership fails to appear, students don’t feel like a priority, not even very important.

President Robert Vela is on medical leave, but he covered the cost of the pizza, which was nice.

But what about the rest of the college executive team?

Jothany Blackwood, vice president of academic success; Stella Lovato, vice president of college services; Lisa Alcorta, vice president of student success; Conrad Krueger, dean of arts and sciences; Francisco Solis, dean of performance excellence; Vernell Walker, dean of professional and technical education; and Tiffany Hernandez, dean of student success, all have information about this college.

What can be done about outside groups, such as the anti-abortion Love of Truth Ministries?

Can the Texas Success Initiative used for placement be waived?

Those questions were discussed, but students might also have wondered about the course of planned renovations and if any more degrees will be available under the Saturday@SAC program?

The college executive team includes the ones most qualified to answer.

Vela said he and the vice presidents were scheduled for the event, but the flyer said the “college executive team” would attend. The executive team includes deans as well as vice presidents.

Instead, participants had to voice their concerns about college level issues to the officers of the Student Government Association or fill out forms that will be directly delivered to administrators.

SGA President Kayla Salwey and Vice President La-Tieka Sims did a good job answering what they could, when they were not promoting their organization, but that’s not the same as the word of an administrator.

And how are students to get responses to those forms?

Students cannot have an open dialogue with a piece of paper.

Is another Q&A session being planned or will students need to attend an SGA meeting to hear the responses of the administration?

Pizza with the President does not lose importance because Vela cannot make an appearance.

The administrative team should be able to give students the same amount of information about this college that the president can.

Otherwise, you are just wasting students’ time.

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