Student Leader Dialogues provide new channel for communication
Sandy Pantlik | February 7, 2019
In fall 2018, Dr. Joanne Smith, Texas State’s Vice President for Student Affairs, realized the university needed a way to connect more regularly, in-person, with leaders of key student organizations. So, she established the Student Leader Dialogues to meet with presidents and/or vice presidents from key student organizations once a month.
“We had three goals for the Student Leader Dialogues,” said Dr. Smith. “Update students about university initiatives and plans, hear students’ updates about their organizations, and determine the best ways to make sure all Bobcats are successful within our diverse campus community.”
Dr. Smith attends each dialogue session and is joined by other members of the President’s Cabinet, university administrators and staff throughout the year.
“Student feedback is incredibly important to us,” said Dr. Smith, “so we needed to open up a new line of communication with key student leaders that would ensure we were constantly sharing updates, and fielding students’ suggestions, questions, and concerns.”
The last dialogue session was held on January 29 in the LBJ Student Center. In that meeting, Dr. Smith updated the student leaders on several important initiatives, including the African American Assistant Professor presentations, the opening of the new Student Health Center-Thorpe Lane location, cybersecurity measures, the announcement of the newly-hired Police Chief, and opportunities to join UPD’s Police Academy.
Other key leaders from across the university participated and provided updates. Dean of Students Dr. Margarita Arellano spoke about the ongoing work of the Student Government Task Force, and the hiring of the new Staff Attorney for Students, Mark Kinzler. LBJ Student Center Director Jack Rahmann provided updates on the expansion and ongoing construction at the LBJ Student Center. Chief Diversity Officer Ameerah McBride, and newly-appointed Manager of Diversity Initiatives Dr. Stella Silva, discussed the ongoing work of the Council for Inclusive Excellence. Associate Athletic Director Don Coryell provided updates from various athletics programs.
All the student organizations represented in the group also provided updates. Additional dialogue sessions will be held on February 19, March 26 and April 16.