New 'For the Good of the Campus' form provides voice for student concerns
1:32 p.m., Oct. 17, 2013--One of the many perks of living on campus at the University of Delaware is that any number of concerns a student might have can be addressed by a team of trained professionals.
When those concerns involve dining, laundry machines, getting around campus, or any of a variety of campus housing and public safety issues, students also have many ways to make their voices heard. A new initiative developed by student leaders has added another route.
Building leadership skills
Brandon Grabelsky, vice president of intra-collegiate affairs for the Resident Student Association (RSA), is on a mission take student concerns directly to the administrators best suited to address them. To simplify the process for students, he created the “For the Good of the Campus” form.
Historically, the vice president of intra-collegiate affairs would meet with RSA representatives, who would return to their Complex Community Councils to get student input. For busy students, however, meetings are not always the most efficient way to gather feedback.
“For the Good of the Campus allows suggestions and brainstorming,” said Grabelsky, an Honors Program student majoring in political science and public policy and a Blue Hen Ambassador. “It affords individual students a way to make needed changes on campus and expedites the process of change based on the greatest need.”
Response to the form from students and administrators alike has been good. To date, submissions have resulted in correcting a laundry machine issue in Independence Hall and fixing a light over the Frazer field turf among others.
“A student brought a pothole on the corner of North College and Ray Street to my attention, but didn’t know if it was a University or city of Newark issue,” Grabelsky said. “I contacted Facilities, who reached out to the city. The student was so happy when the pothole was fixed the next week that she sent me a picture of it being filled.”
Several dark lights over the Laird Campus pedestrian bridge were fixed the same day that Grabelsky reported them. Elizabeth Keating, a junior English literary studies major and resident assistant in the Christiana Towers, reported the dark lights via the form.
“The form is extremely user-friendly,” said Keating. “It shows RSA’s dedication to serving as the student voice here at UD.”
The form is just getting off the ground and currently, Grabelsky responds to each submission personally. He indicated, however, that if submissions increase, a committee might be required to address different types of concerns.
Emergency concerns should not be submitted via the form. Emergency public safety issues should be reported by dialing 911 or calling UD Police at 302-831-2222, or utilizing one of the more than 200 blue light phone located throughout campus.
For urgent or emergency facility service requests, students should contact the Facilities Operations Center at 302-831-1141. Similarly, immediate dining concerns can be reported to the dining manager on duty at each dining location.
Grabelsky plans for the form to be available through the school year and will pass it on to his successor.
More about the Resident Student Association
The Resident Student Association (RSA) is the representative voice for undergraduate students living in the residence halls. RSA supports students’ rights and strives to enhance the cultural, educational, and structural aspects of residential living through connections with UD Dining, Residence Life and Housing, Public Safety and through partial funding of Complex Community Council and Resident Assistant programming.
Article by Tabitha Groh