Suggestion Box, RU Style

Students litter the campus, some travel in a rush and others take their time across the many paths spanning RU. You’ll find them sipping Starbucks, browsing the bookstore, or chatting before class.

You can’t walk by a group of students without hearing one complaint or another.

Tyler: “I wish Chick-fil-a were open on the weekends.”
Kasey: “We should have more diverse things on campus.”
Rachel: “Tell me I can live off-campus. It is whack that it is taking so long!”

Most brush off their frustrations skipping out on the SGA meetings and not writing to the newspaper. Their voices are never heard.

With an empty box in hand I took to the sidewalks of RU and asked for them to speak up. A hundred and fifty students took the opportunity, grabbing a marker and writing down their thoughts.

Campus food and parking tied with the most concerns. Students addressed the lack of options, healthy and otherwise. They suggested a return of take out boxes, an extension of dining hours and additional weekend choices.

The current lack of open restaurants over the weekend period continues to frustrate students. The majority of the Terrace Shops are closed for entire weekends and the dining hall within Muse is also only open to students Monday through Friday.

There was an overwhelming response for more convenient and better parking options. Radford University’s on-campus community faces a long hike across the bridge to the Dedmon lots where they face forgetting where they last parked and later a challenge to find an open spot.

Many students are constantly ticketed and face ticking meters around campus. Commuter students have difficulty finding open spots and leave way earlier than necessary for class. They’re constantly late due to inadequate parking spots. The Book Exchange even points out the school

s issue on bumper stickers that read “If you see my professor tell him I’m still looking for a parking spot!”

[[37 suggestions were dropped into the suggestions box concerning the lack of parking]]

Several students rallied around one issues strongly: the gym. Work out times, the state of gym equipment and the access to the Dedmon center were popular suggestions.

[[8 percent of all suggestions described the poor views of Radford’s current gym options.]]

Students decided to take the time and give their teachers an evaluation as well. One suggestion was given to make lessons more interactive and fun. Also, pointing out that everyone’s forgetful and asking teachers to be merciful when it comes to late work.

The suggestions showed that the off-campus seminar has been on the minds of many. A lack of clear communication between the university and student body has presented a irritation for those trying to plan ahead.

Transportation, lack of security on campus, frustration with campus maintenance in the early hours, issues with the registration process, a dislike of the new core classes, and an unlikely suggestion of building escalators filled the suggestion box.

Two students argued on alcohol. A desire to abolish RU’s party school image faced off against an overall dislike of the current dry campus policy currently in affect. Many others showed their displeasure with the overwhelming amount of police that seem to rather bust parties than protect campus.

However, not all of the RU suggestions took on a negative stance. Many asked fellow students to look up as they headed to class, stay motivated, recycle and support their school.

Radford University welcomed the suggestion box as their personal voice box. The question began as “What suggestion would you give your fellow students, faculty and administration?” but now should be “Is the school willing to change?”

Check the upcoming issue of The Tartan for our story on The Suggestion Box: RU style. Plausible suggestions will be passed along to RUs Student Government Association.

[This article was published in the Feb. 10, 2010 issue of The Tartan. It was also published online Feb. 9.]

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