Administrators offer solutions to students' concerns at annual Town Hall Meeting

Jesse Bade

On March 28, 2012

Dropping the typical auditorium setting, administrators and faculty addressed students' concerns about residence halls and campus life during round-table discussions at the ninth annual Town Hall Meeting.

"I want to know what students think," said President Stuart Rabinowitz. "We want them to be well-educated and happy."

Along with Rabinowitz, other offices such as the Dean of Students, Financial Aid and Public Safety faced students' scrutiny and suggestions. The meeting allowed some offices a chance to tell the students of the progress they were making regarding past concerns.

Jessica Eads, Vice President for Enrollment Management, stated that during their discussion they addressed student concerns with scholarships; that is, the desire for upper-class students achieving higher GPAs being afforded the opportunity to receive more scholarships.

"We are looking into increasing the renewal policy for students entering Hofstra with a scholarship so that more money is available," said Eads.

Meanwhile, Public Safety addressed the students' desire for a daily shuttle to the malls and other entertainment venues campus shuttle.

 "We are looking to incorporate this shuttle in September," said Karen O'Callaghan, Director of Public Safety.

Students complained heavily about the poor conditions of the residence halls. Darnell Lee, a resident of Alliance Hall, hates the lack of care given to her floor's bathrooms and rooms.   

"My concern with residential life is the cleaning," said Lee. "I am constantly seeing dirt on the shower curtains and never see them get changed. Also, I told my RA about a hole I have had in my wall since the beginning of the year and I still haven't gotten a work order."

Danielle S. Williams, a student living in Enterprise Hall, expressed similar concerns.

"My resident hall just got refinished, but the elevators, some days, don't work," said Williams. "After the building was just redone I feel like the elevators should work."

 Other students agreed with her statement and expressed other issues with elevators in various towers.

Both Libman and Rabinowitz responded to these specific complaints.

"We will work on creating an organization that will work to make sure they are clean," said Rabinowitz.

Meanwhile, Libman assured that the elevators have been looked at.

"I know they are looked at and inspected regularly, but if there are particular issues with particular elevators, we would be happy to look into it," said Libman.

Aside from concerns about the residence halls, students also pitched ideas to address major campus life issues such as gender neutrality.

"I would like to advocate the need for gender neutrality in all areas of Hofstra policy," said Noah Ehlai, a member of the Pride Network. "If it is included in the policy, there needs to be a follow through with gender-neutral housing and bathrooms."

Another suggestion students made was to post more signs around campus that reinforce the University's smoking policy.

Upon seeing so many issues brought forth, Dr. Elizabeth K. Venuti, chair of the University Senate Planning and Budget Committee, found the Town Hall Discussion successful in fostering dialogue between the students and the administration.

"This event is whole-heartedly supported by the University administration," said Venuti. "We come together as a community in the spirit of shared governments to voice opinions, share concerns, raise questions and listen to others with the common goal of making Hofstra the best that it can be."


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