When Vice President Lexi Hiland and I formed our campaign last year, we created it all around the motto OnePurdue, focusing on campus unity, pride and collaboration. We also built an acronym around the word “one” to emphasize key areas that we think are important to the success of Purdue Student Government and to our campus as a whole. We have seen success with this mindset and after hearing Exponent editor-in-chief Kirsten Gibson's wishlist for our new president, we too would like to create our own wishlist and encourage President-designate Daniels to get behind the idea of OnePurdue.
Our wish list is based around our acronym of ONE: Openness and accountability; nurturing student success; and enhancing the Boilermaker experience.
1. Openness and accountability
Daniels has done an excellent job being open to hearing the thoughts, concerns and ideas of Purdue’s campus over the past five months. He has spent more time leading up to his presidency on campus than any other president. We would like to see this effort continued when he arrives this January.
Purdue Student Government has started a new initiative this past semester with monthly town hall meetings to create more engagement with a variety of student groups. It’s my hope that we can work with him and his office to set up a similar format to create a better connection between him and students. In the past five months he has opened himself up to a number of criticisms and questions from faculty. It would be a huge benefit to students to make himself more available for questions and comments in how he can be a better student-focused president.
2. Nurturing student success
Purdue just recently finished a report called “Foundations of Excellence,” which recommends three main themes: To increase focus on the first-year experience, to improve the academic success of first-year students and to focus more on improving the environment in the classroom. This report gives clear direction that we think is essential for nurturing student success.
One specific example is improving academic advising on campus. When allowing students the chance to vent about issues on campus, this topic always gets brought up. It is crucial that Purdue creates better and more focused relationships between students and academic advisers. Academic advisers hold the power to be the coaches that can helps students understand the direction they need to being going as students.
We would like to see Daniels join in on the path to nurture student success by helping promote the recommendations that have been set forth in the “Foundations of Excellence” report.
3. Enhancing the Boilermaker experience
We all know that when looking for a job, employers are looking for more than just a high GPA. They are looking for students who are involved and have taken the time to become better communicators, organizers and leaders. This is already part of Purdue’s strategic plan, “to launch tomorrow’s leaders.” We need to move forward to keep the opportunities outside of the classroom available.
In the past this has been made possible by funding from the president’s allocation and the newly added student activity fee to programs such as the Student Organization Grant Allocation. Last semester alone the fund granted 71 organizations more than $150,000. That adds up to lot of opportunities that truly enhance the Boilermaker experience.
We encourage Daniels to promote the opportunities for students that allow development in and out of the classroom. The more opportunities that students have to collaborate and work together, the more welcomed and engaged they will feel about their time here at Purdue.
We would like to encourage Daniels as he begins this new journey here at Purdue to get behind the student-driven idea of OnePurdue. Having his support and promotion of this idea will greatly increase the unity and collaboration of everyone on campus. Our recommendations for Daniels on our wishlist will allow him to help the overall student experience both in and out of the classroom.