LSA Dean Andrew Martin chatted with around 40 students Tuesday evening to discuss a variety of campus affairs.
Throughout the course of his first year, Martin has held similar talks on campus to offer students the opportunity to discuss his administration and other topics of interest. Martin held two talks earlier this academic year where he discussed the LSA Race and Ethnicity Requirement, and diversity and socioeconomic status, among other issues.
Students led the discussion in a town-hall style, asking questions on topics such as adding potential new majors, challenges associated with student-athletes missing class for practice and games and the perceived disconnect between faculty and students.
“We want to make sure that they’ve got the robust support necessary,” Martin said.
Many students discussed problems of obtaining dual-degree credits, specifically the restriction on students within the Ford School of Public Policy and their inability to double major.
Martin said he believes having students obtain a dual-degree could only help rather than hurt them. He said eliminating this policy should happen and would only benefit students.
LSA freshman Nicholas Fadanelli said he appreciated Martin’s discussion of some of the issues with majors and minors on campus.
“If you have certain programs, like journalism, that don’t have the major like they used to, or have the applied field outside of college, that having new minors to come to those would be very beneficial to LSA students so they could have that liberal breadth,” Fadanelli said.
Discussing students on campus with lower socioeconomic status or who find themselves unable to academically continue at the University, Martin said he wants to ensure that all students admitted to the University are able to stay and finish their degrees.
“It does happen, and we want to do everything we can to make sure that it doesn’t happen,” Martin said. “Every student that we admit to this university deserves to be at this university.”
As a former professor, Martin spoke about a disconnect between students and faculty at the University.
“Sometimes we forget what it’s like, sometimes it’s been many years since we were undergraduate students,” Martin said.
LSA freshman Patrick Mullan, an office ambassador in the LSA dean’s office, said he appreciated Martin’s efforts to increase contact between students and administration, citing the creation of the ambassador program to further facilitate this contact.
“I’ve been working in close contact with him for six weeks and I think he did a really good job in an hour of reiterating what we’ve been working on in the office,” Mullan said.
Students in attendance also mentioned problems with turning a degree into a career, especially for those pursuing the humanities. Martin said these degrees do not tend to provide a direct path toward a career as majors in other fields might, but he said the liberal arts education helps turn these degrees into careers.
“The reason why the liberal arts education is so empowering is that it allows you to look at things from a different perspective,” Martin said.
To help students explore careers in their fields, Martin said he believes the University could do more to assist students in finding sustainable careers post graduation.
“As a college we can do a better job helping to connect you with those people,” Martin said.