Students Invited to VPSS Luncheon

Students were invited to have lunch with the president, vice president of student services, and faculty of Sam Houston State University on Sept. 9 in the Lowman Student Center for the monthly VPSS Luncheon.

The student luncheon is a way the Department of Student Services attempts to bring out students to give them a chance to learn more about SHSU and the staff.  It offers the opportunity for students to meet fellow students, ask questions, and appease their curiosity about the university.

The 20 students who attended the event received a three-course meal and were joined by six staff members and faculty of the university. Among them were Kris Ruiz, associate director of marketing and communications, Carlos Hernandez, vice president of financial management services, Debbie Nichols, assistant to the vice president of student services, Frank Parker, who hosted the luncheon, as well as university president, Dana Hoyt.

Each member went around the table and introduced themselves. Once everyone was settled, Parker spoke, mentioning the significance of events such as the luncheon.

“We see this as an opportunity to get to know the students,” Parker said. “This way we know what it is the student body wants, and with this information, we get to change some things.”

Staff members were very warm and inviting to casual conversation, making it easy for students to feel comfortable.

“I am used to the city life of Houston and it feels like at 5 p.m. all of Huntsville closes,” Rebecca Alexander, freshman forensic science major said. “So I’ve been trying to come to as many events as possible to get to know more people and the university a little more. It is nice that [SHSU] offers the chance to meet [administration] personally.”

Alexander is a first generation college student and emphasized the importance of attending a school she felt was like a second home.

Once everyone began their dessert, Parker took the opportunity to begin asking students questions.

“Why did you choose Sam?” Parker said.

Immediately, hands were raised. The answers from students ranged from SHSU being the perfect option for a particular field of study, to a mere attraction to the amount of school spirit that is felt on campus.

Parker and the rest of the staff listened intently as Nichols took notes about the different opinions and concerns that were being shared. They asked how SHSU could be made better for current students, new students and future students.

Among the various concerns were the “dinosaur washing machines,” in some of the residence halls that refuse to work and the small showers that are seen as “inconvenient.”

Parker then shared his own college shower experience, relating to the students by emphasizing the “struggle” for a 6-foot-4-inch person to bathe.

The last question was, “I’m proud to be a Bearkat because…”

Again the answers were varied, but the one that seemed recurring was given by sophomore criminal justice major Marc Slattery.

“I like it a lot here,” Slattery said. “I don’t feel like just another number. You can really feel the sense of community.”

Students are notified via email about the monthly VPSS student luncheons. For more information, contact student services at 936-294-1784.


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