Student Senate held a public town hall meeting on Nov. 30 in the Student Center to give Wayne State students the opportunity to voice their concerns about issues such as campus life, diversity and inclusion and obstacles on the path to graduation.
“Throughout this whole year, one of the main things we were trying to focus on was getting more student input [and] hearing the students out more than previous years,” said Nourhan Hamadi, president of the Student Senate.
Hamadi said she will present the issues brought up by students at the town hall during the WSU Board of Governors’ meeting on Dec. 1 to make the board aware of students’ concerns and priorities so action can be taken.
“They’re not sitting next to us in the classrooms, they’re not walking around campus,” Hamadi said. “These are our elected officials; therefore, they should be representing us.”
The Student Senate began the town hall with a presentation on projects they have completed and others that are still in the works. The projects were divided into four sections: academic success, graduation rates, community affairs and governmental affairs.
Thus far, Senate has created a class waitlist on classschedule.wayne.edu for students trying to get into full classes, worked on the new general education requirements and “revamped” the green space on Woodward and Warren to enhance campus culture.
Currently, Senate is lobbying to make class syllabi public so students can view them before registration, improve academic advising standards, create new shuttle routes to include the new business school and create a polling location on campus.
“We want to empower those students that don’t have any other option, that live on campus or around campus to vote where they live,” said Stuart Baum, a member of Student Senate.
Students present at the town hall were able to have one-on-one discussions with members of Student Senate to express their concerns about pressing problems around campus.
David Pitawanakwat, a senior political science and sociology student, said WSU’s campus as some whole needs to improve our accessibility and handicap services as well as general maintenance of buildings, especially State Hall. Pitawanakwat said the building is not handicap-friendly and it needs to be updated to keep up with students’ technological needs.
“The building in general just looks like crap,” Pitawanakwat said. “The elevators [are] another concern for disabled students, it’s tiny, it barely works half the time, I feel like it’s going to collapse, it’s probably a safety hazard.”
Baum said there’s a long backlog of differed maintenance and upkeep.
“The big issue, always, is where all of our conversations go: where are they going to get the money to do that?” Baum said. “The first place they go is students.”
Pitawanakwat said considering the millions of dollars that have been collected in raised tuition over that last years, “Where does it all go? When they were lobbying for those tuition increases, they said it was for differed maintenance, I don’t see anything getting improved.”
For more information and to get involved with Student Senate projects, check out their Facebook page.