We asked four individuals – an alumnus, a staff member, a faculty member, and a current student – the following question:
How much influence can/do/should students have on campus affairs?
Christopher Kennedy '99
Owner, Christopher Kennedy Design
“Serving as Drury’s student body president for two years made me realize the importance of student voices. I think it’s vital for students to be heard, and at Drury there are many avenues of communication.
I learned the importance of sharing my opinions in appropriate and constructive ways, and it is a lesson that serves me well to this day. Complaining just to complain is rarely effective; creating change means being part of the solution, and it requires time, ideas and commitment.
As I have gotten older, I have also learned the value of wisdom and experience.”
Diversity Support Services Coordinator
“To say we give students a voice is as inaccurate as saying the cow jumped over the moon. When we consider the current decision-making process at the university, do we see opportunities for students to be involved? How do we give students something they already have: a voice?
All campus community members should remember that we display strength by listening, not using our voices to silence others.
Student voices have the power to bring about positive and powerful change, but we must all try to understand each other’s views — and, yes, sometimes engage in lively arguments with one another. We must all be willing to speak with clear voices and listen with clear ears.”
Associate Professor - Architecture
“I often think that students have little awareness of their power in conversations about campus issues. I believe students should realize their voice—not to play victim but to engage in keeping university standards high and continue to raise them.
In architecture, we often say that the greater the challenges of the problem, the more innovative the solutions become.
It is possible to address everything in this way—from life in general to university concerns such as budgets, faculty changes and program developments. Student involvement is a key part of this creative way forward.”
Theatre Major, Class of 2018
“Drury students are seeing an administrative pattern of waiting to tell students why a change is needed until after the fallout of the change has begun.
The student body is itching to be more involved with big decisions that impact our education, and we wish the administration had communicated this year’s changes more proactively.
When the leaders of an institution make changes to its students’ education without telling them why, they are opening a Pandora’s Box of confusion, anger, hurt and speculation.”