Written on 11-17-2016
Members of the York College faculty and administration held a one-on-one panel discussion on the second floor atrium. It had been made possible with the involvement of Student Government. The event allowed students to express their concerns within the school.
Students who attended were given a choice to announce their feelings through index cards which were read out load by a speaker if they did not want to voice their opinions or through microphone. All concerns went to the panel.
“As Student Government, we are here to represent the students. We’ve been hearing some of your concerns and brought them up to President Keizs”, SGA President Rachelle Antione said. “We want to have this meeting so the student can have the opportunity to ask questions”.
One issue a student expressed addressed the price of college tuition. President Keizs announced the possibility that tuition rates would increase. According to Keizs, the price of tuition would increase up to two-hundred dollars if a proposal by the Chancellor went through. “There is a proposed, modest increase that has been requested by the Chancellor and approved by the Board of Trustees. We do not know if it will be approved by the slate legislature or the government”.
Some reached out about the unsanitary conditions of college bathrooms which has been a problem in the past. Celine Cruz, a 19-year-old Biology major stated, “I’ve been in some of the stalls and some of the toilets won’t flush and the locks for some of the 3rd floor bathroom stalls don’t work”. James Minto, the Executive Director of Facilities, Planning and Operations responded, “There are 96 bathrooms on campus, the ones in the main buildings are used the most. Some have clogs and old drains. We will increase supervision and cleaning staff”.
Ronald C. Thomas, the Vice-President of Administrative Affairs and Finances, cited another factor, the lack of staff available for custodial duties. “Out of the three people we hire for the job, two leave. So, it’s a lack of manpower”.
In addition, complaints about rodents such as rats and insects became another focus of discussion. The appearance of rodents has been an issue with York students. Two weeks ago, a student recorded a cellphone video of a raccoon in the cafeteria. The rodent situation poses as a safety risk to the campus. According to Minto, the rodent population on campus significantly decreased, but not completely gone. “We’ve just changed to a new pest control system and there’s been some progress, but we’re still working on that”.
Some students expressed their experiences dealing with rude or dismissive employees in some departments on campus. When asked “What will be done to curb the problem”, President Keizs responded that it was a training issue that will be monitored. “This problem is not new to us and one of the things we’ve focused on is improving training for employees. In which it’s important for students to give feedback so we can make improvements”, said Keizs.
“I think they answered some of my questions, but gave me the round-about on others. Overall, it was all right”, Cruz stated.