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Opinion: Student Voices Left Out of College Reorganization Discussions

Updated: May 30

By Abby Miller

Pictured: Empty classroom. Image Credit: Pixabay.
Pictured: Empty classroom. Image Credit: Pixabay.

Front Range Community College’s reorganization process is set to take place over the course of the remainder of this academic year.

At a meeting held last November, FRCC’s newly hired president, Dr. Colleen Simpson, shared that putting students at the center of decisions which impact them will be a top priority for her during the reorganization.

Three months later, students are still in the dark about changes happening throughout the college and what such changes will mean for them.

Currently, students are offered monthly meet-and-greets with Simpson, occurring at each campus and aimed at allowing students the opportunity to get to know the president in a casual setting.

However, these events take an approach opposite to the promise made by Simpson.

Structural changes have already occurred to campus leadership at both the staff and student levels. Student life offices have been left empty and student leaders confused about the status of their clubs and organizations.

It is too late to engage students in the discussions which lead to these decisions, but that need not be the case moving forward.

Beyond meet and greets with one member of college leadership once a month, an effort must be made to include student voices on the front end of decision-making.

Proposals brought forth to students for feedback well before their implementation could achieve an inclusion of voices not previously heard.

Discussion groups led by students targeted at understanding the needs of those who choose to participate could give students the opportunity to develop meaningful leadership skills outside the classroom.

A newsletter aimed at updating students on reorganization developments with a place to respond with feedback could keep all informed, regardless of their ability to participate in events.

It is of importance to note that most students will not stay at FRCC for more than two to four semesters.

Some may argue this point as a reason to disregard student voices.

However, it is only a greater reason that college leadership should listen to student voices as they are now, and as they change with FRCC’s student body and structure over time.

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