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Presidential Forum Covers Lots of Ground

On November 9, President Urgo held another of his regular presidential forums.

While only a few students appeared at the forum, the topics discussed could potentially change how they interact with campus.

The forum was broken up into five sections: “Summer on Campus”, “North Campus Food”, “The Arboretum”, “Should St. Mary’s Have a Written Honor Code?”, and “The St. Mary’s Budget”.

In the “Summer on Campus” section, the forum discussed how to facilitate more community involvement over the summer. It was reported that there would be another River Series this coming summer. Major details about what might happen in the next summer were unclear, but faculty involved in the planning of summer activities are currently creating focus groups to see what students and faculty want.

In the “North Campus Food” section, faculty and students at the forum discussed the notion of having a campus pub. One of the main goals is figuring out the best way to give students more access to food at North Campus. For example, people have been looking into potential hours and staffing as well as trying to figure out where the space could be in LQ or DPC.

One of the major problems the forum felt needed to be addressed was public opinion; they explained that people in the community feared another Green Door. However it was stressed that this project was mostly to provide a food option in north campus and that alcohol hours would be limited while food hours would be extended.

Lesley Urgo led the discussion on the St. Mary’s Arboretum. She clarified to the forum that the goal was to build off of what St. Mary’s was already doing. She explained her excitement in having an arboretum that is distinct to southern Maryland, and explained how it could help students get more involved with their campus and environment.

“We look forward to a couple of workshops hopefully every semester, we have lecturers as well as hands on training sessions. We also want to invite people who are already doing good work to campus.”

Next were discussions on whether or not there should be a formal Honor Code. The discussion focused on what an Honor code would mean and why the school should or should not have one. Student Trustee senior Danny Ruthenburg-Marshall opined that a written Honor Code was redundant.

“We have an honor code, it’s not written down, but it exists,” said Marshall. “Students follow it, the community follows it, and I think adding an actual written Honor Code won’t change the dynamic at all.”

The forum finished with an explanation of the Budget. Some people stayed behind to chat while others left. If students want to speak to President Urgo, they should go to his Open Hour every Tuesday from 1:00-2:00p.m. or go to the next forum.

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