March 11, 2008
From tuition costs to clothes dryers, Oklahoma Baptist University students had the chance to voice their concerns about a range of topics at a Mach 3 forum. The forum, titled "An Evening with the Presidents" was in OBU's Tulsa Royalties Auditorium.
"The goal was to be very casual and also to just build communication between the students and the administration. If we're able to increase communication by holding a simple forum, then we want to do that," Mackenzie Hufty, SGA public relations chairman said. "We think that ultimately that will lead to a better community at OBU."
SGA President Abby Jeffers and OBU Interim President John Parrish were the main sources for answering questions during the forum. Other administration staff members were present, including senior vice president for academic affairs Deborah Blue, director of business services Larry Walker and senior vice president for business Affairs Randy Smith. Approximately 40 students attended the hour-long event.
"The forum gave an opportunity for the students to rub shoulders with Mr. Parrish, because he wants to interact with the students, and I think he really showed that willingness by participating in the forum," Hufty said.
Question and answer talking points included the presidential search, tuition and online enrollment. Jeffers is on the presidential search committee, and the forum provided her an opportunity to hear what students want in the next president.
"Things are not going to change on campus unless students come to these forums. If students see there are things that they want to be different, the administration won't know what those things are unless they voice their opinions," Hufty said. "This forum supplied them with the opportunity to voice their opinions and to ultimately make a difference in how things are."
The tag line for the forum was "Answering Your Questions and Valuing Your Opinions." Both the SGA and administrative leaders said they hoped that students would leave the forum knowing that their opinions matter.
"It was a very productive evening. We were excited to facilitate the interaction between students and administration," Hufty said.