This archived article was written by: Benjamin Waldon
Members of ASCEU met with faculty, students and staff on Feb. 2 at a forum to discuss the statement of expectations that was released the week prior.
Jesse Holt, ASCEU president, began the meeting by explaining he wrote the statement of expectations along with other members of ASCEU student government. Each member of ASCEU signed the document. He requested from the students and those in attendance give feedback concerning the information listed in the document.
ASCEU’s student advocate, Amy Anderson, then read the proposal.
Instructor Steve Burge moderated the meeting. He explained that people have been holding these types of meetings for an extended period of time to solve problems, He said these meetings can create many emotions, but as the American democracy is concerned, we can get through it. “Let’s talk about the good, let’s talk about the bad, and let’s talk about solutions. I can stay part of the problem, I can be part of the problem, or I can be part of the solutions.”
A member of CEU’s Board of Trustees, Dennis Dooley, said when he was a CEU student ages ago, he participated in a similar meeting. He applauded ASCEU and the students who attended the forum to express their ideas. He would listen and take the comments from the forum to the trustees to let them know the student’s concerns.
A vocal Kryslinn Wallace, was the first to comment from the student athlete standpoint. As a member of the women’s basketball team she stated that they were “ranked 14th” before the season started and “they were ranked two years ago as well, nationally.” She said the women’s basketball team puts in a lot of work. The second time she addressed ASCEU,she berated and cursed the leaders.
Holt stood up to defend his statement saying, “You don’t like to lose; we don’t like to watch you lose … whether it’s a change in personnel, coaches … the point is that we don’t want to see you lose, you don’t want to lose.”
Next Kyle Bird a member of CEU’s theater department defended theatre by asking the questions, “What do you define as mediocrity?” She also stated whom they recruit by saying that “most students that are theatre majors are here on scholarships from award-winning performance.”
Chandler Person a member of the men’s basketball team, stated in the defense of the fact that they the basketball team does do well in school, “Our team’s GPA was 3.2 last semester, graduation rate is 80 percent – three times the national average which is 30 percent and we are 13-7 for the season.”
Holt again stood up to do defend the statement of change by stating that, “There is a sense of pride in the community as well as on campus for athletic teams, and I think we are lacking that … We aren’t calling the athletics mediocre; we are calling the image of the athletic program mediocre.”
Burge stepped in to tell everyone that they needed to look at the overall principles, instead of the individual problems. He suggested that people come up with three principles of discussion.
Anderson then stood up to address Bird’s statement, and tell the theatre majors why they were included within the message “I was a theatre major last year and I am very proud of our program … We look at the recruitment level … there is a problem because there isn’t recruitment, there isn’t enough money to recruit. Last year there were three people recruited, me, Bo [Brady] and Mike[Mutchler].”
Cory Ewan, theatre instructor, then took the stage to defend the recruitment aspect of theater, “Each individual faculty member recruits in our own manner … it’s not always a question of money. Another problem we [CEU] have is that we face is that mom and dad don’t want little Johnny or Suzy going away from the Wasatch Front, they want them to say close to home. So unless we can offer them full tuition, housing and food, they don’t want to come … This year I have three schools that are willing and ready to send up to 20 students here based on the reputation of CEU Theatre and CEU. We are out there pushing it when we can so it is an individual costly thing … we do fight tooth and nail to get what we have.”Men’s basketball coach Bryan Zollinger stood up to defend the athletic department by saying, “If we don’t win a conference match, that doesn’t mean we lost … .or we’re a loser … that just means that it’s a tough conference.”
Holt then fought his statement with a comment. He said the athletic director [David Paur] told him that “We’re [CEU] not expected to win, we’re expected to be competitive” … with an attitude like that coming from your coaches, how that concept is being passed down through the athletes … We can’t stand for this anymore … ”
Basketball player, Whitney Fardig, took the stage and stated that the basketball team and its coaches work hard at making the women’s basketball team successful, and challenged CEU’s ASCEU by asking how many games that they had attended.
Soon after, Zollinger stood up and changed the direction of the discussion by stating, “We stick to the principles, not just the individual problems … We do need to reverse the decline in enrollment, there is no question about that … we need to take whatever steps are necessary to find solutions for that … and if the energy created by this whole controversy leads to those steps, then we need to get all of the energy out there and maybe it will effect a positive change.”
Challenging the players, Bri-anne Pinedo asked how many of the athletes attend ASCEU’s activities? Getting many unofficial replies, she said she had seen many of the woman athletes attend, but hardly any of the men.
Soon, Ewan seeing that the meeting was in a rut, came to the stage and stated, “I think the problem is we are getting hung up on the word mediocre, and I think that ASCEU possibly realizes it was a poor choice of word. They are saying that is not what they meant … but that is the perception that they have. I do not necessarily think that they think that that’s the norm, and we are getting hung up on mediocre, and we are taking it personally.”
Ewan defended Holt and the statement when he said, “He is not doing this for anything personal, he’s getting nothing out of it but grief. He is doing it because he cares. The fact that we are emotional and passionate about it shows that we care too, so let’s put that together and create solutions.”
Holt stood up and presented some ideas to the students that involved CEU’s public image, and said that this should be a community college. This is an issue that the administration needs to fix. We need to do our part.
Dooley then took the stage stating, “This isn’t pointed at you, this is pointed at us … This college is in a crisis … .I want to go back to the trustees with something other than ‘everybody defended their program.’ I need from you suggestions on what needs to be changed.”
Burge started to talk about how the focus of CEU is education, and asked a few questions regarding education and staff.
After Burge was finished talking, Jan Young took the stage challenging the students with her statement, “All of your expectations are geared toward the faculty the staff the administration … shouldn’t there be a paragraph of what we should expect from you?”
Steve Christensen, CEU outdoors director, stood up and said he applauded ASCEU for coming forward with concerns. However he would like it known that he specifically disagreed with the way it was done and with some of the things that were stated in that document. “I find the generalities damaging to too many people and groups who didn’t deserve it.
Several times during that meeting a member of ASCEU said, ‘We (I) didn’t mean that.’ At some point in your educational process I hope you run onto the Intentional Fallacy. At some point it doesn’t matter what you ‘meant.’ It matters what you said. We need to breathe some life into this college and campus.”
Soon after it became clear the entire purpose of their statement of expectations was that CEU’s image needs to be strengthened. Solutions were proposed by many students.
Joe Whitehead, a member of ASCEU, suggested as a school project that we try to finds ways to make it a better place. In the marketing classes they should have some assignments to help get marketing for the school and some public relations. Individual departments should pull together and work with each other more.
Wade Lueck, an instructor, then recommended that teachers should make an extra credit incentive in their classes to get the students involved in the events on campus. He also then encouraged other faculty to help support the on-campus events, including ASCEU.
Kate Alleman, campus nurse, next added, “We don’t have sexual assault awareness here on campus.”
Jake Anderson then recommended that we make the school more appealing; and stated that the food service is a joke and a rip off. Someone else complained about housing.
Out of all of the solutions that were given, ASCEU documented 21 of them. Solutions including better communication, more in depth expectations from the students, less bureaucracy, better customer service, personal forums, personal interviews with administration, personal attention for students from faculty and staff, instructors are inspirational not just teachers, more student projects, new and updated website, raising the student fees, cooperating classroom assignments with marketing, departments working together, student sections at the games- we have scream team, collaboration, P.R. from ASCEU leadership, broadcast games of athletics, support from newspaper, more students joining committees, holding forums about the specific problems on campus, updating the policies and student code of conduct.