Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Calderone holds forum to gain input for search

Calderone holds forum to gain input for search

SGA President Matt Calderone opened a June 19 meeting for students to voice their opinions and desires regarding the UA president search by saying the meeting was a time for students to establish “characteristics and qualities” of a potential University president. Calderone said that he would consolidate students’ responses into a list that could be taken to the search committee and provide representation for the student body.

Calderone also stated he hopes to have several more meetings since there is only one student representative on the search committee

He first asked what the students present thought it meant to have a president that is “student-centered.”

“Students want someone to hear them,” Kurt Key, a UA graduate with a bachelor of environmental sciences, said. “They want someone to support them.”

Other students noted how they had only seen President Witt “once or twice” and wanted a president with more of a visual presence on campus.

Those present at the meeting also discussed wanting a president who understands the tradition and pride at UA but also looks to innovation and change for the future.

Calderone summarized the characteristic by saying, “Someone who embraces diversity and changes but also embraces our past and tradition.”

The discussion then moved to the topic of campus growth. Many at the meeting desired less growth.

“We need someone who can manage our growth,” Collins Williams, a senior studying communicative disorders, said. “It feels like it’s been a little too much, too fast.”

Many at the meeting echoed the sentiment of too much growth, while wanting to focus on “quality” instead.

Students also raised concerns about wanting a president who is “more hands-on” and an “effective communicator.”

Lane Morrison, a graduate student in civil engineering, suggested “they bring someone from a research institute” who could understand the importance of research and grants for research.

The issue of crisis management was also raised, with students expressing concerns about receiving “formulaic” emails anytime there was an incident on campus.

Calderone noted he thought it would be important “to see how they handle a crisis, whether it’s a tornado or incident on campus.”

Students suggested town-hall style meetings with the president or student committees that could regularly meet with the president to improve and broaden the communication between the University president and student body.

The student representatives at the meeting also prompted the idea of hiring someone who had not necessarily been a University president before. Of those who commented on this idea, there was a unanimous opinion that someone who was not a president before may provide a “fresh perspective” on campus matters.

Noah Cannon, a sophomore studying telecommunications and film, voiced concerns about a president who would address an “often neglected” group, the LGBTQ community.

Other concerns raised about student life included, rises in tuition, class size and not being able to register for desired classes before those classes filled up.

Calderone invited students to email him if they were not able to make the meeting or have concerns or suggestions about the presidential search.


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