In an attempt to create an open dialogue about student culture, the Fairfield University Student Association organized its first presidential forum of the school year.

According to Jason Abate ‘17, sophomore class president, the discussion was held in the interest of determining any “areas where people feel they’re not part of the community,” and finding ways to improve upon them.

Titled “Student Life on Campus: What it is, What it should be, and How that relates to you,” the forum that took place on Tuesday, Nov. 18 was led by the four class presidents: Joe DiRico ’15, Matthew Lazicky ’16, Abate and Zavon Billups ’18.

DiRico hoped to see students, particularly underclassmen, come out and share “any improvements in terms of the dining experience and events we’ve had so far this year, as well as anything they want to see improved.”

According to Abate, the number of students who transfer from Fairfield for reasons that aren’t financial is too high, and so he, along with the other class presidents, wanted to find out why through the open forum.

He hoped that a good discussion of students’ concerns would help FUSA find out why students are transferring and solutions to this problem, as well as any ways to improve the student culture at Fairfield.

However, only about 10 students attended the forum — far less than FUSA expected, Abate said.

He attributes the lack of attendance to the Residential College Fair, which also took place Tuesday night. This probably took away from some of the underclassmen presence at the forum, he said.

However, Olivia Marola ’16 believes that one of the major reasons that so few students came to the forum was due to insufficient advertising. Marola only heard of the event the day of through her class’ Facebook page.

Freshman Kaitlyn Giangregorio agreed that their main issue was lack of advertising. She said that if she had known about the forum, she would have attended it.

The few students who did show up expressed their concerns about issues with the dining experience at Fairfield, as well as residence life.

Despite the lack of attendance, Abate feels that the questions asked at the forum had more of a variety to them than those asked at the larger forums they’ve had in the past. At previous forums, everyone asked roughly the same question repeatedly, while at this forum, the concerns ranged from glucose-free meal options to the bus to Dolan Hall.

FUSA plans on organizing a similar forum next semester for students as another opportunity to voice concerns, especially for those who were unable to attend on Tuesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.