ASO president Allison Reid set the tone of the event by saying dialogue is good for the soul. She and her board put together an open forum in the E-building grass, designed to address questions and issues facing Trade Tech students. Dr. Chip Chapdelaine spoke on behalf of the campus leadership and addressed every question raised. He was supported by the vice-presidents who were in attendance. One of the key issues raised, surrounded accreditation and the school’s planned response to our sanction. Dr. Chapdelaine introduced interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathleen Burke-Kelly who has the task of guiding our response and being the key liaison with the accrediting team. Dr. Chapdelaine spoke about the measures being taken to address all of the recommendations, including the work that started back in the summer. Several students brought up the issue of an assignment in a visual communications class, which offended some students. Dr. Chapdelaine explained the process that is underway to respond to students’ concerns, and said personal apologies had been offered by the instructor and the administration. Several students questioned the closure of classes along with the Winter and Summer sessions. Dr. Chapdelaine laid out the budget situation, and also explained that legally the bond construction funds cannot be used for operation of the college. He talked about the campus efforts to keep as many classes open as possible, but that the state cuts have made things very difficult for the college.
It was a special day of dialogue for our students, and several had a chance to speak with Dr. Chapdelaine and other administrators immediately following the event.
Congratulations to ASO president Allison Reid for her efforts in keeping the students informed and engaged.