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News-in-Brief: Dean Brown Responds to Concerns from Student Speakout

On Sept. 26, Dean of Students Leonard Brown Jr. held an event to address the concerns from the student speak out organized by the Student Government Association regarding policy enforcement changes that took place earlier in September. Brown also revealed an action plan to address those concerns.

Following various conversations with students as well as comments from the student speak out, Brown told the crowd gathered at Cole Cinema for his response that he heard their concerns about the student experience and his action plan looked to make the student experience both safe and enjoyable. In an AllStudents email sent out after the event, Brown delivered a written form of his statements.

Students’ confusion over the “social host policy” prompted Brown to announce that the social host policy will be suspended until January 2019 This allows a chance for the policy to be discussed with the community before it is enforced in order to clarify confusion.

Starting in November, Brown announced there would be several opportunities for dinners where Brown will join “you and a group of your friends.” In the email, Brown explained that the groups having dinner with him “could include your roommates, the executive board of your organization, your teammates, etc.” This provides students with the opportunity to discuss various issues on campus on a more personal level.

There will also be “dialogue opportunities” held for the remainder of the semester in order to “understand the complexities associated with the problem and define the multiple needs.” These dialogues will allow students to meet and discuss problems and solutions to a variety of issues in the campus community. The first dialogue will be about the Wellness Center and takes place on Oct. 3 at 8pm in Cole Cinema. Brown introduced a group of students, Grace Alukpe, Celeste Copay, Mia Griffiths, Jovani Llano, Jasmine Long, Grayson McNew, Richard Powell, Aissatou Thiaw, Nick True, Jada Ward, and Micaiah Wheeler, that have volunteered to assist with these dialogues, and can be contacted with ideas or questions.

Brown will also hold sessions on Tuesdays from 3pm to 4pm called “Connecting with the Dean,” where Brown will be at the Daily Grind, the Pub, or the new ARC café with a Connect Four game. This provides students the chance to  meet informally with Brown, similar to office hours. President Tuajuanda Jordan and other administrators will join certain days, and the schedule will be announced closer to the day.

Brown stressed that all of these opportunities are planned for this semester, but with sufficient student engagement, it is possible for them to continue through the spring semester. Brown ended his email with the sentiment that, “if we work together through dialogue, we can make the student experience better for all students.”

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