MESA Project: Defining the Issue

St. Edward’s University has a major gap in communication between students and administrators. This isn’t a secret, and through my research for this project, I have found out just how disconnected and unheard student’s feel. In my previous post, I described why I decided to look into this communication issue, and in this one, I want to describe my thinking and what my plan of action looks like so far.

Now that I have moved on to creating a product for this project and started brainstorming, I want to focus on a few major criteria. I want to come up with something that:

  1. Is reasonable and has a good chance of being accepted by St. Edwards.
  2. Will have a genuine impact.
  3. Allows room for everyone’s voice and opinions.
  4. Has the ability to feature many different issues.
  5. Is public and accessible by everyone.
  6. Holds the University accountable for results.

After considering all of the criteria I want this idea to follow, I’ve come up with an idea I feel is pretty solid. It would start with a box on campus where students can submit questions and concerns for the administration on current issues or overall concerns. These will then be screened and printed to be posted in a designated space on campus for everyone to access and see, as well as sent to the administration. I am still working out how the administration will publicly answer and address these questions and concerns, but I have a few options. The administration will either answer these in a news paper section, an email to students, a student concern meeting, or something similar. This gives student and even staff a space to anonymously asks questions, keeps them constructive by screening them, and holds the university accountable by having it public. This can also be an opportunity for an art installation that means something and has an impact, and can feature art students that decorate and add the questions and comments in a safe space where we know our opinions wont be taken down.

I was able to come up with this idea by listening to those around me, and coming up with an idea that was a larger representation of what I heard from people around me. I never would have had the idea for incorporating the art element or turning this into a way to engage students and encourage them to take charge of our roles as students without listening to those around me and asking for help with ideas. Listening to members of the community when it comes to issues can lend the most insight, because they know first hand what’s going on and what’s needed to fix it.

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