Following the suicide on campus, there was a mass social media response from students. As inspired and impressed as we were to see this response from the Tech community, it brought into question the efficacy of how students express their critiques and concerns.
While there is value in using social media as a forum for discussion among students, it is not always the most effective tool to address the administration. Instead, students should direct their efforts towards other, more productive means of communication, such as the Student Experience Survey and Gift to Tech.
Currently, there are very few opportunities for students to share ideas and problems with the administration in person. This flaw in Tech’s infrastructure is a definite hindrance to our community’s progress but it is also a problem that can be easily rectified.
For instance, in response to the suicide, the administration held a town hall on mental health which was widely attended. While the opportunity to talk directly to the administration was greatly appreciated, it was also unusual. The administration needs to make a greater effort to reach out to students.
We would like to see town hall meetings held throughout the year, as opposed to solely after troubling events. GTPD has already started arranging town hall meetings to discuss campus security issues and the results have only been positive.
It will be very difficult for campus to grow as a community and fix our current problems if there is not infrastructure in place to support open and honest discussion between students and administrators.
Arranging in person discussions and town hall meetings should not be incredibly difficult or time consuming, but the results could be incredibly beneficial to both student and the administration.