Students present to cabinet
December 11, 2011 Leave a comment
by Molly Crain
Yesterday, President R. Owen Williams and members of his Cabinet took time out of their afternoon to watch Dr. Ashley Rondini’s Social Problems class present its term projects in the Cowgill Center, room 102.
Each of the five projects pointed out social problems they perceived within the Transylvania community, concluding with proposals on how to change the problems presented. Diversifying Transy, dietary needs awareness, disabilities awareness, gender equity in Transy sport facilities and physical fitness were the five problems addressed.
Despite the fact that Rondini has only taught at Transy for a single term, she has been adamant about making a difference in the community and in the lives of her students.
“My hopes are that the students will come away with a critical lens that enables them to consider multiple perspectives on complex issues, and that they will have gained a ‘blueprint’ to use in future endeavors focused on social change to work around whatever is most important to them,” said Rondini.
The presentations each lasted about 15 minutes, as the groups issued their claims, research and the proposals they devised in order to fix the social problems they identified.
After the presentations, senior Nikki Skidmore, who was in the group that presented on diversifying Transy, described her experience.
“I think our project turned out very well,” said Skidmore. “There are initiatives to have more diversity on campus, but we want students to become more aware of this sooner than later.”
“I think that it would be fair to represent that each of you made suggestions that are implementable,” said Williams after listening to the presentations.
Promising to implement at least one suggestion of each team’s project in the Transy community, Williams thanked Rondini and her class for trying to “make Transy a better institution.”
Senior Kaitlyn Foree, who participated in the group interested in gender equity in Transy sport facilities, commented on performing in front of members of the administration.
“The presentations with President Williams and the Cabinet ensured that our voices would be heard, so we were more motivated to put in the effort and create real change,” Foree said. “The class as a whole was unique in that it truly ended up impacting us beyond the syllabus. We learned that each of us has the power to take action and rally support. … The effects of our projects will definitely reach beyond the conclusion of the class.”
Rondini shared her thoughts on the results.
“I was deeply impressed and inspired by the amount of work and thought that each group put into making the most of this opportunity to effect change in our campus community,” said Rondini.
“I learned a lot from this class, and I suggest this course to every student. It’s a great opportunity for students to learn how to change the world and become activists for their passions,” said Skidmore.