OPINION | Meeting university administration shouldn’t be a privilege for students

It feels like there is a longstanding college tradition that meeting members of the administration is a privilege reserved for only the top students. Only these top achievers get the privilege of meeting the dean of their college, attending an exclusive event with the chancellor, or speaking with the provost.  

Every student, from the top achiever in any academic department to the students who just go to class and go home, deserves the opportunity to meet with the campus administration. 

Since starting at UCCS last August, I have met the Chancellor only three times. I’ve only been afforded this opportunity because I am a LIVE Leadership scholar. Still, three five-minute conversations aren’t much, and most students at UCCS do not get the opportunity to talk to the Chancellor one-on-one.  

As I thought more about this, I realized that I have met very few of the Vice Chancellors at UCCS as well. Who handles Student Affairs? Since when did we have a Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management? 

Our administrators at UCCS should be forming a much closer relationship with the students they serve. It should be public knowledge every time a position is created, or a new dean takes over. We need admin to meet students where they are on campus. 

Our admin should be seen buying an overpriced coffee at Big Cat, walking the halls of Columbine, and attending events at the UC. Where students are, our representatives should be as well. 

If we know the admin, we can begin to trust in them and advocate for what we want to see on campus. If we could see the campus administration as people, just like we are, instead of seeing them placed on a pedestal, students would connect more strongly with the school. 

There are already many organizations on campus that go out of their way to communicate with constituents and make students feel safe coming to them with concerns or questions. SGA excels at this.  

I have seen members of SGA from all branches showing up to events, talking with students, taking their concerns to their meetings and advocating for change. I would love to see all representatives of every branch of shared governance on this campus make the same effort.  

The university administration is tasked with understanding and advocating for the needs of our student body, so there is no reason to restrict student access to the representatives who are supposed to serve their needs.

Campus leadership have offices in Main Hall. Photo by Josiah Dolan.