TCU Daily Skiff Thursday, April 1, 2004
Frog Fountain
Skiff page design

Forum focuses on ways to better TCU experience
More student voices were heard at Wednesday’s Vision in Action town hall meeting than in previous weeks.

By Lacey Krause
Staff Reporter

Maybe AT&T is on to something when they say, “reach out and touch someone.”

There isn’t enough interaction among TCU students from different backgrounds, said Feleceia Benton, a junior advertising/public relations and musical theater major.

“We haven’t learned about the cultures here at home,” she said.

Approximately 60 people, including students, faculty and staff met Wednesday discussed what makes the university unique. The meeting was the third of six town hall meetings organized by Chancellor Victor Boschini’s Vision in Action group. Boschini developed the committee to design a three-to-five-year plan for TCU’s future.

Several speakers stressed the idea that college should be a transforming experience for students.

“The most important goal for any student is to be changed as they leave,” said Hilary Estepa, a junior habilitation of the deaf major.

Students too often fall into their social comfort zones, rather than meeting others who are different, said Marcy Paul, Women’s Resource Center coordinator.

“It’s such a great experience to leave and say, ‘I’ve met people who are so different than myself,” she said.

George Kuh, inauguration keynote speaker, agreed with Paul.

“You can’t allow students to sit back and walk away from diversity experiences,” said Kuh, who is the director of the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University-Bloomington. “What brings us together are some common understandings.”

Several speakers focused on the need to integrate community service into the academic curriculum.

“To fully experience our mission is to do service,” said Robin Williamson, director of community service. “It also connects us with that global community.”

All departments of the university need to be integrated in order to give students a “seamless” experience, said Eric Cox, TCU Leadership Center assistant director. For example, student affairs and academic affairs need to work together.

“We all need to be working toward the TCU mission,” Cox said.

Students need to build mentoring relationships with faculty and staff, said Emily Quesenberry, director of Baptist Student Ministries.

“That leads to building ethical leaders when they see ethical leadership in practice,” she said.

The committee should remember that no two students will have the exact same TCU experience, said Pat Miller, registrar.

“We may be using a single mold that doesn’t fit our students properly,” he said.

Every student has the ability to dictate what their individual TCU experience will be, said Ashley Shihab, a junior advertising/public relations major.

“Everyone comes here for a different reason,” she said. “By putting one label on the undergraduate experience, you hurt us more than if you say it’s what you make it.”

Holly Elder/Staff Photographer
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Larry Adams (left) responds to a question concerning “the TCU experience” Wednesday afternoon in the Student Center Lounge. Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Don Mills (center) and Jane Kucko (right), who chairs the design, merchandising and textiles department, also sat on the panel.
TCU Daily Skiff ©2004
news campus opinion sports features search awards skiff home advertising jobs back issues skiffTV image magazine converging news contact