Many people are confused about how changes occur on campus. They happen all the time, but it is unclear what occurs behind the scenes for many decision-making processes, leaving students to hear about what is happening on our campus through the grapevine.
Sometimes the changes make students happier but the mystery can result in decisions that actually further dissatisfy students or changes that fail to redress issues that warranted the change in the first place.
A recent example is the decision to remove the coffee shop Pura Vida from the Albin O. Kuhn Library. The coffee shop is to be replaced by Einstein Bros. Bagels, which is currently under construction. The choice was announced late in the fall semester of 2017.
Apparently the change was made in response to student frustration regarding a lack of options for breakfast dining on campus. While students are interested in the prospect of the new campus eatery, there has been much confusion over how exactly the change came about.
Senior media and communications major Emma Sampson said “I’m excited, I never went to Pura Vida but I will go get bagels. I don’t really know what’s happening with it though. I didn’t hear about it until recently.” Few students seemed aware of how the changes came about, and even if they were dissatisfied with the change, they seemed to make no effort to learn how it happened.
The Student Dining Committee was allowed to offer up its input regarding the installment of the new dining locale. The committee communicated with Chartwells, UMBC’s contract food service, to reach a decision about what would best serve students on campus.
This was information easily obtained at a recent Student Government Association meeting where senior computer engineering major and the SGA president Josh Massey was more than happy to answer any questions about the efforts of the SGA. Massey said, “We’re always trying to be more available to other students.”
To that end, the SGA has been trying to attract students to come speak to them outside Commons with a big yellow tent. Unfortunately, many students often bypass the tent, declining to speak with SGA members and missing a crucial opportunity to learn about the goings-on around campus.
At the most recent SGA meeting, despite the free pizza available, the turnout was low. Students should offer up their own input to SGA and make an effort to educate themselves about decisions that may affect the student population going forward. Then the changes that are made can be what the students want and student government will know that they are truly helping students make the changes they want.