All students were invited to participate in either of the two sessions held last Tuesday on the college’s 2018 Open Forum Discussion addressing the future of Knox College. Yet only two showed up.
Pressing on despite the lack of student interest, faculty and staff shared their ideas and opinions about the goals and improvements being included in the college’s four-year strategic plan. The forum, which included a 30-minute open discussion session, was held with the intent of generating feedback for the faculty group before they presented their plan at the February board of trustees meeting.
The presentation was a refined and condensed version of the goals proposed earlier this January on the future of Knox College. The presentation was broken into several groups of interest, each focusing on a newly proposed vision for the different aspects of 21st century Knox. Goals were addressed regarding the future student body, education, faculty and staff, campus and finances of the college.
One overlapping goal of the groups focused on the need to further integrate the college into the surrounding community. Experiential learning opportunities within the community, partnerships with the local government, Galesburg businesses and community groups were proposed components of this plan.
The plan also considered the future of the college’s student body. The plan addressed the concept of campus diversity, seeking to create a more integrated environment for underrepresented student groups.
Junior Forrest Linsell openly expressed his interest in campus diversity during the forum. “I take pride in the diversity that Knox has,” said Linsell, “but if they’re talking about building anything new, it seems odd to not include the disabled students.” Although he readily recognizes the financial obstacles of renovation, Linsell hopes to see a future campus that is more accessible to the handicapped students.
Another recurring goal was the college’s communication amongst faculty, staff and students. Several members of the faculty addressed the apparent weakness of the communication networks at the college.
“I have always felt that there has been a disconnect between the rules we are expected to know and knowing them,” junior Oakton Reynolds said. Reynolds suggests taking the “various policies and rules and regulations that we students often have to navigate and post them in a place where they can be easily accessed.”
Although the forums have passed, students are still encouraged to participate in the feedback process before the plan is presented to the board.
Students may submit any concerns or ideas at www.knox.edu/strategic-plan-2018/submit-your-ideas.html.