SGA hosts student strategic planning forum

On Thursday, Nov. 5, Tech students representing a multitude of clubs and organizations attended SGA’s Strategic Planning Forum at the Flag Building. The forum was part of a larger strategic initiative organized by faculty and staff to discuss ideas on how to improve student life at Tech.

“We want to include the students in the strategic planning process,” said Alina Staskevicius, president of SGA. “The first draft should be coming out relatively soon for the strategic plan.”

A panel of Tech administrators including Dean of Students John Stein and Director of Research and Analysis at the Department of Communication and Marketing Kathi Wallace presided over the meeting to hear and discuss the presented ideas. The strategic initiative at Tech is intended to be a long-term project for campus and the greater community. Organizers stressed that any ideas presented at the meeting could have effects that could reach as far as the year 2035.

“[Our] strategy is to reach as many students as possible through small and large focused discussion and the way we are getting figured out in 25 years [on how] to define what the student life experience should be at Tech,” Stein said.

This event was one of many held by the administration following the announcement of the 25 Year Strategic Plan following Institute President G.P. “Bud” Peterson’s Investiture on Sept. 3. Students in attendance broke off into four groups for ten minutes to brainstorm ideas.

Afterwards, they reconvened to present a summary of their discussion. They repeated this process several times during the evening with different topics selected by the organizers. Discussion topics included revising the curriculum to allow for interdisciplinary tracks, restructuring classes to allow for more online lectures, involving students in building projects, intermingling Greek and non-Greek students more and strategies for decreasing class sizes, such as limiting future freshman classes.

“The ideas would have to be considered important in terms of benefiting Tech. They would have to have a reasonable level of feasibility and they would have to be forward thinking,” Stein said. “This [meeting] will inform our long-term plans but much of our front end work will stand.”

Although the actions and effects of the initiative will be long lasting, the event on Thursday was the last public forum for students to voice their ideas scheduled as of yet.

There are plans to hold more talks with students in the future.

“We’re still in the intake mode right now and then when we meet with Dr. Peterson next week we’ll be reviewing some of the top ideas and getting feedback and that will give us direction on developing ideas further over the next couple of months,” Wallace said. “It will be a year long process so it’ll go through next summer.”

“It is a dynamic process, there is a website that any student at any time can submit an idea … and it comes back to the committee,” Wallace said. “So even though we do have a deadline, there’s no cutoff date after which ideas can’t be submitted.”

To communicate and help with the strategic planning initiative, students can access .