Students focus on concerns over diversity, treatment of transfers during town hall

By: Sam Shelton, News Editor

Students focused on concerns over campus diversity and treatment of transfer students Wednesday, April 6, during a small town hall-style meeting with University President Kim Schatzel. The students brought up issues of transfer housing, which is based on availability of rooms and therefore not guaranteed, and diversity topics including cultural competency courses.

“If you come to a campus where everyone is like you, you’re not going to learn,” Schatzel said. “You’ll just be around folks like you, and that won’t work.”

According to an online data set from the University’s Office of Institutional Research, in the fall 2015 semester, 2,102 students were new transfers.

Hosted in the West Village Commons, Wednesday’s meeting, which was designated for students, was just one of a series of town halls conducted by Schatzel since she took office in late January. Schatzel, a former marketing professor, has described such meetings as “focus groups,” which allow her to hear multiple perspectives on campus climate.

She has previously met with academic and administrative faculty, representatives from Cook Library and members of Towson Athletics.

While the session predominantly touched on transfer student and diversity concerns, other student comments revolved around faults in the academic advising system, core curriculum and on-campus shuttle routes.

Throughout the meeting, Schatzel stressed that many of the changes desired by students cannot be made overnight, but that she is dedicated to taking a look at each issue and making small changes until wider-reaching, permanent solutions can implemented.

She said that TU has an overall impressive national reputation, but that she has seen a campus that is even better than this perception.

“Our reality outstrips our reputation,” Schatzel said. “We’re better than our reputation.”

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