The Geneseo community is, at this point, largely aware of the college's overall goal to not only be designated the official SUNY honors college, but to transform itself into the preeminent public liberal arts college in the nation. The goal is frequently touted by the administration and president while praising Geneseo's high academic reputation.
At face value, this goal seems admirable, and, by and large, it is. In order to achieve it, the college administration has and continues to map out their strategy concerning the direction that they plan to take the college. The problem, however, is that the student population is largely disconnected with this strategy, and the administration, in general, does little to inform the student population of their plans to move the college towards the goal.
What members of the administration must remember is that the student body can be a tremendous resource in developing strategy and facilitating its implementation. We at The Lamron call on the administration to the recognize the importance of student input, given that students are at the ground level experiencing the effects of the administration's policies firsthand. This puts us in a unique position to offer feedback and suggestions that may be outside the ability of administrators to gather through their own experiences.
It is worth noting that the college has made some moves in this direction. For example, the college's Taskforce on Curriculum Review, which is charged with gathering student, staff and faculty thoughts on curriculum modification, is holding (albeit little-publicized) forums this semester to discuss potential changes to curriculum. At some of the forums, students are invited to express their opinions.
Additionally, the recent series of Deliberative Dialogues, in which student leaders are invited to discuss and consider approaches to issues pertinent to the college (most recently the issue of building community), is another positive opportunity for students to affect the formulation of college policy.
It is also important to note is the extent to which students also have the responsibility of taking the initiative to involve themselves in these processes when the opportunities arise. A student body content to sit on the sidelines when chances for involvement in formulating policy are presented is as ineffective as an administration that leaves student opinion outside the realm of consideration.
As Geneseo continues towards its vision of genuine honors college status, the college cannot afford to let students continue remain unaware of that status' meaning and its implications for daily life at the college. Undoubtedly, this institution can only be made stronger with students' understanding of the college's strategy and involvement in its formulation.