Ideas get aired out at stormy brain meeting

Peijia Zhang, Copy Editor

The Student Government Association channeled a new way for students’ ideas to be collected and discussed.

From 7:30 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, association members welcomed students in the Cambria Room to take part in this semester’s brainstorming forum.

A number of tables were divided into sections representing different committees.

Some students chose to write down their ideas, others held conversations with association members.

Despite the openly democratic aura, association members were dressed in formal clothing, adding a sense of seriousness and authority to the forum.

Senior Zack Palmer said he felt uneasy when he saw them dressed formally, but he was glad his voice was heard.

“I think it is a good idea. At least they are trying to figure out what students think,” he said.

Palmer said he gave his opinion on the bookstore’s opening hours, as it closes too early at around 5 or 6 p.m., compared with longer opening hours he recalled from the past three years.

As to a suggestion that the bookstore being moved to another location and replaced by another restaurant, he said it may add slightly more varieties for meals, although he hoped the convenient food choices remain.

He said he wanted to buy chips after night classes but the bookstore was closed by then.

Shawn Brooks, Student Affairs vice president, said the decision about the bookstore hasn’t been made.

Brooks said the idea behind the possible changes to the bookstore is for students to have better places to socialize, for example, to have more comfortable sofas as some students suggested.

He said there is a chance that the bookstore may be moved to another location to better serve academic use.

Association president Shelby Smith said only association members who had classes or prior engagements were excused from the forum.

They heard ideas from students and decided to handle them all at once, she said.

“Whenever students want to come by and give ideas,”she said.

The number of students who attended was a little fewer than expected, approximately 20, according to Smith. She attributed this to ineffective advertisement.

Smith said the homecoming advertisements from the previous week may have overwhelmed their own efforts.

According to Smith, the only other advertising was a tweet on Twitter. The marketing members decided to devote their efforts to Homecoming and other events they thought were more of a priority.

She said it was the first time they held the forum, and they haven’t talked about its continuation.

Whether to continue holding it each semester will be tentative depending on how well it was received, she said.

Brooks said with regard to the forum itself, it is important to hear voices. It is important to make sense of how to shape the future to better serve the students.

“We are here to serve you,” he said.

Junior Jess Belmonte said the poor Wi-Fi in the lodges is troublesome for her. Along with that, she also suggested the cafeteria open earlier on weekends.

According to her, the opening time should be at least from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., instead of 11:30 a.m..

Belmonte said the senior gift idea is unfair considering the seniors have worked so long and hard they are the ones who deserve a gift, such as a photo frame, rather than giving one.

Some other more personal preferences on campus life were given by students, too.

Junior Tom Degore said he wished to have fewer vegetarian choices for food that is not vegetarian-like, such as fajitas or tacos.

Nick Digiorgio, Campus Development Chair was talking with students throughout the session.

Digiorgio said survey and polls do not give members the chance to have face-to-face interactions. The brainstorming forum may be a good start toward light of better communications.