Questions and Answers at Town Hall

SGA Hosts Town Hall for Students

Panelists prepare for the beginning of the Town Hall.

Ryan Gibson

Panelists prepare for the beginning of the Town Hall.

Recently the Student Government Association (SGA) at Culver-Stockton College hosted a Town Hall with President Dr. Douglas Palmer and his senior leadership team. The panelists included President Palmer, Associate Dean for Experiential Education Dr. Dell Ann Janney, Chief Financial Officer Diane Bozarth, Dean of Students Dr. Chris Gill, Director of Campus Security and Facilities Mike Bringer, and Athletic Director Pat Atwell, while SGA president Cheyenne Grissom directed the questions to the panelists.

The Town Hall was hosted both live, in-person and in a virtual format over Zoom. The Town Hall was hosted in a socially-distanced Merillat Chapel.

The event began with a question of how students are being supported when there are no breaks, heavy course loads, and dealing with the stress of the pandemic. Gill responded by saying that this marks the first year of a partnership with Blessing Health Systems in Quincy. With a college-issued ID the partnership allows for five free mental health visits from Blessing.

Janney mentioned talking to academic advisors if a student were to feel overwhelmed with course work, and that “We care about you all, and we want you all to succeed.”

“We care about you all, and we want you all to succeed.” ”

— Associate Dean of Experiential Education, Dr. Dell Ann Janney

Several topics during the evening involved dining services.   A question was raised about changing the dining hall from being closed on Sundays to Saturdays, to being open for meals on Sunday. This was cited as a need, based on students expressing that more students are returning to campus on Sundays warranting the dining hall to open.

Through the course of the semester students have used Styrofoam containers in order to get their meals, and in the spring semester the option of reusable containers is being heavily considered. Palmer alluded that the use of the Styrofoam was intended for the beginning of the school year.  However, now that the pandemic is still ongoing, it would be more environmentally friendly to make a transition to reusable containers. Reusable containers are likely come as analysis of costs are being run to purchase the containers.

Also during the evening a question about intended use of the proposed Experiential Learning Center, and what will be going in the facility. Palmer mentioned that a panel of students are working with him for what they’d like to see put in the Center and that “the goal of the building is to emphasize hands-on learning and entrepreneurship.”

COVID-19 precautions of the college were mentioned and what’s being done as the recent numbers on campus and nationally show that this virus is not going away. Palmer addressed the audience with, “We are asking you to do your part as leaders.”

Safety precautions are well underway and ongoing for the spring semester, according to Monday night’s discussion with the panelists, and an announcement will be made in the coming weeks as to the testing methods used for the return to campus for the spring semester.

“We are asking you to do your part as leaders.””

— C-SC President Dr. Douglas Palmer

On the athletics side, the idea of new turf at Ellison Poulton Stadium was discussed. Atwell and Palmer both stated how a new turf on the field is a priority and they’re in the midst of doing research with different companies. However, Palmer stated, “We’re not going to commit till we have an understanding of where we are in the summer financially.”

The night was closed by Grissom leaving that unanswered questions would be addressed in the days to follow, and if students ever have any questions to contact their Dean of Students, Dr. Chris Gill.