The State of the College was held on Monday, April 8 at 7 p.m. in the Holman Room in Mary Lyon. This event will include remarks from President Hanno about the state of the college, as well as updates from SGA about upcoming events and involvement of SGA on Wheaton’s campus.
The faculty representing the administration was a panel including, Rachael Pauze the Director of Title IX compliance Peter Karn the Director of Public Safety, Ed Burnette and Brian Douglas the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration.
President Hanno opened the meeting with comments about the current state of higher education in America. He mentioned that schools are closing around the country due to the demographics of students not wanting to go to college and schools that have not positioned themselves well in the competition. He continued to explain that Wheaton has faced similar challenges but has overcome this tragedy because of substantial endowments and prudent financial management by faculty.
A strategic plan for improving the college was outlined in the presentation. This plan includes the revision of the college’s curriculum, improving accessibility on campus, and retaining high-quality and diverse faculty and staff.
Accessibility is being brought up and is being addressed. The new residence hall, Pine Hall, opening for the next school year, will meet higher standards of accessibility. One of the things we’re working on is making the admissions office more accessible and soon after are coming up with ways to improve the accessibility of the counseling center. An upcoming project is the renovation of the science center starting in Jan. 2020 and concluding by the end of 2020.
SGA has officially created the positions of Sustainability Board and Accessibility Chair.
The Sustainability Board is an executive committee that focuses its efforts on environmental issues. The Constitutional Amendment to approve and establish this Chair was passed earlier in the Spring Semester, making this a permanent addition to Wheaton’s SGA. The goal of this board is to advocate sustainability, propose and push for sustainable options throughout campus, and connect and collaborate with other groups whose missions center around sustainability.
The Accessibility Chair is a position on the Student Government Association’s Exec Board which works closely with Accessibility Services and other accessibility-focused groups on campus. In this position, duties include but are not limited to serving on the Student Advisory Board for Accessibility; advocating for students, faculty, and staff with disabilities; attending meetings of student government and more.
The new positions are serious commitments and present the opportunity to enact meaningful change at Wheaton.