Students and administration sat down Tuesday for the Vice President of Student Services luncheon in order to discuss student experiences on campus as well as to bring questions or concerns to the table.
Issues discussed included parking on campus, sidewalks around the city, special orientations for non-traditional students and healthier dining options, to name a few.
Several students addressed the lack of parking on campus, to which President Dana G. Hoyt agreed with and confirmed that the university is in the process of building more parking lots. However, Hoyt says she is an advocate for the shuttle services that several apartment complexes around Huntsville offer.
According to Hoyt, if students took advantage of the shuttle, they would be picked up and dropped off closer to their classes than they would if they parked in an upcoming lot, which will be roughly a 10 minute walk from the center of campus.
In relation to the parking dilemma, the issue for safe sidewalks and bike lanes was also discussed.
Hoyt informed students that, that issue in particular expands outside of the university and into the city of Huntsville because of independently and city owned streets, but reassured students that Student Government has been working closely with the city to improve those safety issues.
Another issue that was brought to the table addressed the change in hours of operation in the computer labs. Students voiced that they would like, and utilize, a 24-hour computer lab. Vice President of Student Services Frank Parker said he agrees.
“We should have a well-equipped computer lab that stays open 24 hours and we should also advertise it to the students,” Parker said.
Aside from direct issues with the campus, students also voiced several suggestions on how to better their collegiate experience.
Clinical mental health graduate student Tatum Frawley suggested the university offer different and more specific summer orientations to better serve graduate and post-military students.
Frawley said that because she’s in the graduate program, at times it can feel excluded compared to her undergraduate experience.
Administration agreed with Frawley and informed her that special orientations are in the beginning stages of planning.
Overall, Frawley said she was impressed with the administration’s response as well as the luncheon as a whole.
“I learned more about tradition and campus life since I don’t live on campus [because I’m] in the graduate program, so I got to learn more about it,” Frawley said. “It was a good experience.”
Senior musical theatre major Michael Stewart suggested the university offer more vegetarian and vegan friendly dining options on campus, in particular one that would be less expensive than Old Main Market.
“I really felt like they provided a lot of information that a lot of students have questions about every day, and they answered them with a very positive attitude and they didn’t make you feel uncomfortable when they were answering,” Stewart said. “I loved that, and I love that we can actually go to our administrators and receive wonderful feedback so we can enjoy ourselves here on campus.”