ASB Convocation Town Hall Meeting November 2016

Your Questions/Comments Answered by Administration

EDITOR’S NOTE: Back in September, many of you attended a town hall chapel where administration were available to answer questions. Unfortunately many of those questions went unanswered due to lack of time. Here we have a space designated for those questions answered by administration. These have only been edited for minor style guide changes and are from the administration designated as signed. This will be a recurring section. 

Q. Give more money to the writing studio. I guess they cut hours for the writing studio and now they are no longer open on Sundays and close at 10 p.m. due to budgeting but 9-10 is when a lot of people want to go and on Sundays because some of us like to get our papers out of the way before the week starts.

A. The Studio has not been open on Sundays for several years. After tracking students' use of the service, we discovered that Sundays were not popular except during rare times of the semester. It was not cost-effective to remain open on weekends when attendance was so low (on some Sundays, no one came at all). Also, Sundays posed a problem for consultants. Many of them needed time on the weekend to focus on their own homework and prepare for the week ahead.

This school year, we changed our Monday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. schedule to Monday-Thursday, 6-9 p.m. This change did not reduce the number of consultant hours; rather, it increased the number of consultants available on some nights during open hours. For example, on the previous schedule, only two consultants were typically scheduled each hour. Now two-four are available each hour, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday evenings—our busiest times of the week. The more compact schedule also allows peer consultants to end work at a more reasonable hour during school nights in order to finish their own homework and prioritize healthy sleep habits. The Studio's budget has not been cut. The changes simply reflect what the director and consultants themselves find to benefit the most students.

- Dr. Tanya Cochran, Writing Studio Director

Q.  Our class in the Dick Building had to be relocated in the middle of the semester because of a science class and we had to make significant adjustments. How is it possible for that to happen and are there ways to fix these last minute changes?

A. In that specific situation, there were technology needs that had not been identified at the beginning of the semester for that science class. Once we realized the needs, we did our best to re-shuffle classrooms in a minimally disruptive way. We have now created a process to identify needs like this before the semester begins. Our apologies.

- Dr. Frankie Rose

Q. We should get better drinking fountains on the Reese hall floors. Some of them are old and gross and don't even work. The one's where they also fill up your water bottle would be nice!

A. The new style fountains have been implemented where higher usage has made it more appropriate. If a fountain is not working please work with plant services to correct that issue.

- Kim Canine and Steve Trana

Q. Will there be renovations in Prescott Hall?

A.  We are looking at summer renovations and will prioritize issues on the whole campus shortly.

- Kim Canine and Steve Trana

Q. Why was there no counseling when Obama was elected?

A. I cannot speak as to why counseling was not offered when President Obama was elected. However, this year when President Trump was elected, our office was notified that there were several students who needed additional encouragement. This not only happened on our campus but many campuses across the country due to the divisive conversations during the election cycle, especially in regard to minority groups and foreign-born populations. Anytime for any reason we want to support our students. Our counselor, Lorie Escobar has brought awareness of how to best deal with stressful issues and we are thankful that she is here to assist in meeting these needs for our students.

- Kim Canine

Q. Would the political distress email/help offering have been available if Hillary had won? If not, why not?
A. If our students asked for help, then yes it would have been offered.

- Kim Canine

Q. Why are females allowed to wear earings and males are not?
A. Currently that is our policy. It is also a policy that is currently being re-examined.

- Kim Canine

Q. What can we as students do to help raise money for all these amazing projects and renovations?

A. CALL FOR THE PHONATHON!!!! The largest struggle we have in fundraising is staffing the phone program. Students can talk with great alumni, network in their area of study, share the good news of Union College today and enlist support. To apply as a phonathon caller, contact Chris Johnson from the development office. ext 2036.

- LuAnn Davis

Q. When was Union founded?

A. January 20, 1890 the locating committee arrived in Lincoln to look at the city as a possible site for an Adventist college. The locating committee voted to establish the college in Lincoln on January 28, 1890 and the following day they chose the exact site from among several options offered by the city. The location was announced February 7, 1890 and in March the first nail was struck beginning construction. (A tool shed). The college building was the first building constructed followed by residence halls. The first day of class was September 30, 1891 with 73 students enrolled.

- LuAnn Davis

Q. What can we do as students to directly help increase enrollment?

A. Activley recruit! Share why you love Union on social media. Talk about why you love Union to family, friends, church members and also at your academy/high schools. Continue to host and dote on our campus visitors like they do -- sharing the Union Spirit is the best way!

- Nadine Nelson

Q. What would it take to decrease tuition?

A. If we had a government subsidy like UNL, where they receive about $8,000 per student to operate, we could reduce the price. Unfortunately, we do not have that kind of support. However, our church provides a healthy "subsidy" to the college, and our generous friends and donors provide enough funding to keep the prices as low as they are. We are in the bottom third of the price points of all the Adventist colleges in North America. We have efforts now across the college to be very frugal and efficient in spending, always hoping that we can find ways to save costs. The college has invested in a stronger scholarship package recently, so it is our hope that we remain as affordable as possible.

- Steve Trana and Nadine Nelson

Q. We should get Internet outside! I heard at La Sierra they have Internet outside and even plug ins for laptops and phone chargers in the ground that people could use so they could hang out and study outdoors instead of indoors all the time. And the plug ins had covers so if it rained or snowed you just put the cover over them. I know other people would enjoy it I've talked to plenty of people saying I wish there was internet outside so I can study out there and everyone I mention it to seems to agree and think it would be a good idea.

A. This has been discussed with the IS department for feasibility and this will likely become an item that they will include into their list of possible system improvements. Consideration will need to be made with regard to the feasibility when considering the amount of good outside time we have here compared to La Sierra.

- Steven Trana

Q. Why do all jobs pay the same if other jobs require more work than others?

A. Labor laws have recently change which required the college to increase pay for jobs which previously had a lower level of demand from the employee. The issues is under review and financial impact to college will need to be studied in order to determine a time and scope when a tiered system could be put into effect.

- Steve Trana