Students Share Concerns with Board of Trustees

Sam Killebrew

Senior News Writer

 

 

At this year’s student development meeting, students raised concerns on next semester’s changes at The College of Wooster. 

The meeting opened with a speech from Scot Council president Emmy Todd ’22, who touched on the reintroduction of the ad hoc COVID Committee on Scot Council and administrative changes at the College.The Board then had five minutes to ask questions and comment on these updates. 

Last semester’s Student Development Meeting, occurring amidst controversy on campus, was the topic of discussion on campus for weeks after the fact. Complaints about the meeting included lack of engagement from board members, disorganization on behalf of Scot Council and disrespectful remarks from board members. This lack of engagement was something that Todd  addressed this lack of engagement with the board prior to the student development meeting. She appeared happy with the result. “This semester’s meeting was more organized, which garnered more discussion,” said Todd. Many who attended the meeting disagreed with this sentiment. 

Students disagreed with the organization and order of this year’s meeting. In the weeks prior to the meeting, students had to complete a form to address the board. Mochi Meadows ’24, said  the form inhibited the student body’s  access to the board.. Emmy Todd responded to Meadows. “That’s the way it’s been in all my years here,” said Todd.“It was a mistake on my behalf to allow people to speak without filling out a form last semester.”  

The College Democrats and Greenhouse club addressed the board.The two clubs raised concerns about their efforts in their respective groups, and how the new administration will address these concerns.

Meadows was the third representative to speak at the meeting,who spoke on behalf of QTPOC. Meadows y addressed equity concerns on campus, specifically regarding all-gender housing issues. Meadows also  commented on the complacency of departments such as ResLife, which they claim refuses to change the location of all-gender housing despite health concerns involving chest-binding individuals and lack of air conditioning. They also mentioned that all-gender housing does not receive advertisement, especially to first years. Meadows then recounted instances of complacency by the board in several issues across campus. Specifically, they expressed concerns about accessibility for  BIPOC students on campus. “My co-leader, Malachi Mungoshi ’24, is absent in protest of the lack of representation in these meetings,” said Meadows. “They told me they didn’t want to be the only black student here.” Last semester’s meeting, in the wake of the Black Manifesto, confirmed a sentiment held by many students, the student development meeting is an uninviting space for Black students. Courage Kusena ’23 expressed her frustrations with this at the Scot Council meeting on Monday, adding that the board must regain the trust of students of color on  campus before expecting engagement at meetings.

Student speakers who did not complete the speaking form were invited to speak at the meeting, as audience members urged Todd to allow students to ask their questions. With this student’s remarks came the end of the meeting, which was signaled by Giselle Rivera’s last remarks. “Just because there aren’t any BIPOC students here doesn’t mean they don’t want to participate, but rather that they don’t trust that they’ll be heard.”