Strategic Planning Meeting generates dialogue for students, administrators to discuss F&M’s growth

BY STEVEN VIERA ’16
Assistant News Editor

Last Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 8:00 p.m., the Strategic Planning Meeting was held in the Catering Suite. The meeting provided a dialogue between students and administrators on ways to strengthen or improve the College.

The purpose of the Strategic Planning Meeting was to let students share their perspectives on how F&M can grow and develop with the administration and faculty. The meeting was attended by a number of administrators such as Daniel Porterfield, president of the College and Sam Houser ’89, chief of staff and secretary of the College. Representing the Strategic Planning Committee was Scott Onigman ’15, who co-facilitated the meeting along with President Porterfield. About 20 students from all grade levels also attended.

At the beginning of the meeting, Porterfield asked, “How do we create the strongest possible future for the College?”

He then encouraged students to suggest new programs for the College to undertake, or simply to contribute ideas that would improve F&M in some way. The meeting consisted of students offering their opinions on potential improvements, with Porterfield, Onigman, or one of the other administrators responding to their points.

The discussion began on the subject of academics, which elicited such ideas as increasing course options and availability, revising the curricula, enhancing the advising program, requiring rhetoric classes to promote intellectualism, adopting an honor code, and more.

Following academics, Porterfield and Onigman asked for ideas about how to improve or develop life outside the classrooms. Students suggested renovating certain buildings and improving infrastructure on campus, upgrading the Internet service, expanding diversity, and more.

A particularly well received idea involved developing a greater sense of community or school spirit by incentivizing attendance at student performances and athletic events through a point system.

Porterfield commented on the College’s commitment to student opinions as new plans for future development are charted. While he emphasized the importance of looking to the future, he noted that it is equally important to appreciate the present. “We should always try to make the moment count,” he said.

Questions? Email Steven at sviera@fandm.edu.

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