Forum

President Suresh must remain student advocate

At the beginning of this 2014–15 academic year, The Tartan looks back at President Suresh’s inaugural year and looks ahead at the impact we expect our new president will have during the rest of his tenure.

Last year, President Suresh made a conspicuous effort to connect with the student body and reflect students’ concerns, and we hope to see the follow-up changes that will help confirm Suresh’s position as an advocate of the student body.

Below are two important issues that we hope Suresh continues to address during his term.

The University Health Services’ day-long event “Exploring Health, Discovering Wellness,” along with the creation of the Mindfulness Room, was intended to address discussions of stress culture that have been ongoing since December 2012.

While the initiative drew attention across campus and showed an administrative response to student concerns, the university’s approach seems a temporary fix when one considers the root of students’ concerns, which is largely academic in nature.

The existing changes are welcome gestures, but will they solve the institutionalized problem of students enduring strings of sleepless nights to turn in assignments and finish projects, or taking on overwhelming course loads?

Second among this administration’s efforts, the Simon Initiative promises to pursue educational innovation by globally sharing data.

Upon close inspection, the model is a fascinating and promising one, but its details must be more clearly communicated to the campus community.

President Suresh’s inaugural year was characterized by gestures of goodwill. We expected our new president’s first year to be filled with pomp and circumstance, but The Tartan now hopes President Suresh will continue to work actively behind the scenes to ensure the student body is healthy and well informed.

The Tartan commends Suresh for establishing himself as a community listener and forming an open dialogue with students, but we expect that the coming year will prompt a serious consideration of what concrete steps canmove our community forward.