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Erica Hasten explains that due to a series of miscommunications and lack of information many students were confused about the status of the Off Campus Dining Program at the beginning of the spring semester. Students who expected to receive another $250 toward eating in local restaurants were taken aback to receive only $100. The real situation, including Food Services's evaluation of the pilot program and its budget compromise, was never widely known, leaving students in the dark and paying the price.
This situation is far from ideal, but it's also far from unique. A similar misunderstanding occurred when $250 was initially allotted from student caf cards to the restaurant Omni Bucket funds before students had been informed about the program. Those who noticed the shrunken balance on their caf cards were shocked. Even more troubling, student workers in various departments went for months without pay this year, and did not know where to turn for help in navigating a complicated system.
A survey taken by the Student Life Committee last semester found that just 2% of SCW students get their information from sstuds: approximately 20 students out of the entire Beren Campus.
The administration is aware that the lines of communication are flawed, and plans have been proposed to streamline responsibilities. SLC has proposed a completely new, official communication platform to replace the sstud and word-of-mouth system currently in place. Clearly this is needed and perhaps overdue.
In the meantime, you, student, ought to make your own efforts in staying an informed citizen of the SCW world instead of relying on that one friend who always knows what's going on. Guarantee yourself a spot for Race Your Face Off or a site visit to your dream job. Open your sstuds! Or at least glance through the headlines before clicking "Trash."
More intensive attention is necessary in order to begin addressing the communications breakdown at all different levels of this university. The breakdown that most concerns you, student, can start mending by your being mindful of the information you are presented with.
The next step, of course, is to write for The Observer. Our news reporters have access to all strata of the administration. You get to be informed while helping to inform others. It won't fix everything, but it will definitely make a difference.
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