Every couple of months, some of our OSA Assistants ventured out onto campus and offer our students the opportunity to submit their questions for the Deans. In our most recent question collection, we received an overwhelming number of fantastic questions, so we’ll be offering our answers in multiple posts. We’ll even have a couple of guest responders, so keep an eye out for that post in the coming weeks. If you’re interested in contributing a question, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try our best to answer and post it. Enjoy Volume 3…
Anonymous asks, “When will they make the gym area bigger and improve the machines?”
Dean Fowler says: Serving students at three different institutions, the Schumann Fitness Center is certainly a center of activity on campus throughout the day. The fitness center averages over 500 visits per week. While there are no plans to increase the size of the space, we are always looking for other ways to meet students’ need and interest in physical fitness. This past year, we opened the Group Exercise Studio in 610 Huntington. This has been a popular outlet for students to participate in a variety of group exercise classes, including boot camp, barre, BollyX, and kickboxing. Beginning in July, students will also have greater access into the fitness center and gymnasium inside Nelson Recreation Center. Inside the Schumann Fitness Center, there have been a number of improvements to that space over the last few years, including new flooring, air conditioning, a larger weight area, and the addition of the erg machine. The staff works regularly with our machine provider on replacing the equipment as they reach their usage limit, as allowed within the budget. Mike Williams, Director of Fitness and Recreation, is always interested in talking with students about opportunities and ideas for physical activity. His office is located inside the Schumann Fitness Center and be reached by email at email@example.com.
Anonymous asks, “Are they (the Deans) okay with meeting students every so often?”
Dean Kosses says: It is what we live for! Seriously, we are called the Deans of Students for a reason. We want students to feel comfortable to come in and speak with us, whether it be personal concerns, academic concerns, an idea, a question or just to say hi. Each month we host an event in our office (usually with free stuff) so that student’s better understand where and who we are.
When you coming into the office, you will be asked to fill out a yellow sheet and that is just so we have your basic information and an idea of what you want to discuss. This form helps Jesse, our awesome Assistant to the Deans, schedule you with someone and also helps us be ready for the conversation. But no appointments necessary for a hello.
From Twitter, @deekondek asks, “Will WIT buy more Res. Halls?”
Dean Fowler says: There are no current plans to purchase or build any new residence halls. However, this year, we were able to house students in Edwards Hall after MCPHS University had occupied that building for a few years.
This next one is a two-part, two student, question we felt were important to answer simultaneously From twitter, @sayitaintcaz asks, “What are you doing to make Wentworth more diverse and social?” and Anonymous asks, “How can we make Wentworth more appealing socially?”
Dean Fowler says: Let’s address the question about Wentworth being more social first. While Wentworth provides a wide range of opportunities for students to connect with each other – athletics, clubs + organizations, programs and events, intramurals, etc… – the social life on campus is really created and enhanced by students, not by faculty and staff. We are happy to do our best to provide the necessary resources, such as space and funding, for a vibrant campus life. We always encourage students to bring their ideas to Wentworth Student Government, your resident assistant or a commuter assistant, Weekends@WIT, or the Center for Student Engagement. Attend a meeting of the Wentworth Events Board to find out what they have planned and offer your perspective.
Second question – what is being done to make Wentworth more diverse? This is a hard question to answer because there are so many dimensions to diversity. For example, Wentworth is currently undertaking initiatives to increase the enrollment of women at Wentworth through new scholarships, majors, and outreach efforts. Our population of international students has increased over the last few years. And we are strengthening programs such as the RAMP summer bride program and the BRIDGES mentoring program to connect new students of color to Wentworth to increase retention.
The other important part of this question is what we are doing with the diversity we already have on campus. Our Center for Diversity and Social Justice Programs, opened just over a year ago, provides opportunities for students from various backgrounds and identities to engage with each other. Most notably, the center’s Talk Tuesday program allows for meaningful and respectful dialogue across difference on some important issues. In addition, other offices and student groups are offering events to promote diversity and inclusion throughout our campus community. NSBE’s recent Racism in the Dark event brought together students, faculty, and staff in a discussion of the complexity of racism. Programs like these assist Wentworth in becoming more inclusive, not just diverse. To learn more about the Center for Diversity and Social Justice Programs, or to meet Alex (director) and Ricky (assistant director), visit the center in the Flanagan Campus Center.