BBC forum allows students to voice concerns

On Feb. 7, students gathered in the Bayview H. Clubroom at the Biscayne Bay campus to share their concerns with the SGC-BBC.

Leonardo Cosio, the vice-president of SGC-BBC was present and helped in the realization of the event.
“I think for what it was, the forum was really great in terms of attendance. A good amount of people showed up and showed interest by giving feedback”

The assistant vice-president of Student Affairs, Eric Arneson hosted the meeting along with Cosio. The purpose was to find out student’s frustrations about Bayview, the new residential building, and the Biscayne Bay Campus as a whole.

“We usually host it at the Wolfe Center but this time we wanted to reach Bayview students and give a chance for Bayview students to be heard,”said Arneson. “The forum is an opportunity for student government to do two things, like share new information to students like construction, academic programs and provide more information about the campus. The second part is to get feedback from students and answer their questions.”

Cosio said that one of the main problems students shared at the forum was parking, asking the administration to have the parking lot paved and they responded by sharing their plans to do so by the summer of 2017.

“One of the main problems that were brought up was the gravel parking lot. It is located between Bayview and Academic Center 2,” Cosio said. “Sometimes students overflow parking because there is not enough at Bayview, they would have to park on the grave.l”

Limited dining options was also brought up as an issue that the students wants resolved. Especially for resident student, Cosio said students complained on the fact that they only get to choose between Moe’s and Subway.

“SGA met with business services which oversees dining on campus and we told them what we can do to better the options on campus so it’s in the process of being discussed,” said Cosio.

Cosio said that work is already in place to have more options available soon for students to have a rotating menus schedule from restaurants such as Chick-fil-la on some specific days of the week.

Apart from parking and food options, Arneson said that students asked for more student friendly environment.

“Students have expressed their frustrations, for example one of them was that there was a beautiful new Wolfe Center but that it wasn’t very student friendly,” said Arneson. “So from that meeting, I met with the director of the Wolfe Center and we changed the policy to create an opportunity for students to personalize the windows, put up some banners, put up pictures of students and make it a more student friendly environment.”

While some students at the forum may have expressed their concerns, others had positive insights about the BBC campus.

“People really wanted to discuss the positives too, which was nice. They loved the view from the Bayview building, the resources available to them such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and the excursions from the Wellness and Recreational Center,” Cosio said.

Meredith Marseille, the comptroller of SGA -BBC also participated in this forum for students.

“[The forum] was just to get some input about how living in Bayview was going for students there and any issues that they have with it” Marseille said. “ It was also an opportunity to give them an update on SGA and what’s going on with FIU BBC.”

Marseille said that it is convenient to have the meeting at Bayview because lack of housing has always been an issue at BBC. Now that the residential building is there, Marseille thinks that it’s great that they can now address and respond to the concerns of that population of students.

“Forums like this one is open to any FIU students who has something to say about the way things are run at our campus” Marseille said. “Although this forum specifically targets residents students, we encourage all to participate and have other forums in the semester where it’s targeted to all BBC students.”

The lack of classes was another issue that student brought up, according to Marseille.

“[The administration] is bringing back the Health Services major from the Modesto Maidique campus to the Biscayne Bay campus in the 2017 fall semester. This major will bring 700 to a thousand students to BBC and adding numerous classes along the way,” Marseille said.

Residents assistants for the building also helped answering a couple questions. “It was really nice to see people helping each other out as they each brought up their issues” Marseille said.

Arneson said that the next forum will be in late March or early April.

“Usually our forums are students that are really engaged, student leaders who share a lot of information but what we are trying to figure out better is how to connect with students who are not engaged,” said Arneson. “For instance, students who only go to class but don’t engage on any events or services on campus but we really need their opinion too. At the end of the day our role is to engage students on campus.”

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