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including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Cross discusses concerns with GSA

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 12 - November 9, 1995

Lanny Cross, vice president for Student Affairs, told the Graduate Student Assembly on October 19 that he would like for Student Affairs to serve graduate students better.

He said that, based on the results of a 1993 survey sponsored by the GSA and Institutional Research, "a lot of things I do either don't interest you or don't affect you. Since graduate students are 20 percent of the student body, that's disturbing. Maybe we need to do more to address the needs of graduate students."

Cross said that issues and concerns on his mind include:

* A graduate center to give visibility and focus to graduate-student activities. "What's missing is a program-what would you want in it? Residences? Computer labs...? I would like some definition by the end of the year," he said, because, "We have some opportunity because we are engaged in facility turnover, such as replacing the upper-quad residences with academic space when we build new residences."

* Career services. "Presently, they largely focus on the needs of undergraduates," Cross said. He offered as a project for this year "to understand the needs of graduate students."

* Housing. "I'm sorry we made the decision to remove Campbell as a graduate hall," Cross told the GSA delegates. "We had to respond to people who had contracts. But that does not represent a retreat from our intention to have on-campus housing for graduate students." He said Campbell will be reestablished as a residence hall for graduate students "and we need to look at where else we can expand to."

* Squires. "The concept of cultural activities does not have anything to do with the age of the student.

Cross suggested repeating the survey "in order to keep the data current and begin to observe trends."

GSA President Bryan Rowland said funds have been requested from the budget board to repeat the survey.

During questions and comments, Cross was asked about the relationship between student affairs and the arts. He said "We work with faculty members to sponsor shows in the gallery, and bring in shows and plays. Some of that is done through student committees." He said he is not sure of graduate-student representation on the committees. A GSA delegate said graduate-student representation is missing in VTU. Cross agreed it would be a good thing to explore.

He offered to work on a task force with the GSA to improve service to graduate students.

In other business, Board of Visitors member Danny Waddell said a continuing issue is enhancing teaching and learning through technology or "teaching using the web."

"Off-campus enrollment is growing," he said. "We'll be learning and teaching on computers. We need to provide input. An Advanced Communication and Information Technology Center is being proposed as a new building. There is a trend we ought to be a part of."

One GSA delegate said, "Support in terms of hardware and people to provide guidance is not strong." He told about a faculty member using his budget and time to take advantage of technology. "We need to concentrate on support and not just say, `Go do it.'"

John Eaton said "classroom upgrades is a big-ticket item for the future."