What Do You Want from New College President?

More food choices, improved parking and more class choices are among desires students would like to see from the new college president.

By Brandon Paschall

With the wealth of knowledge and its ease of attainability in the world, it is rare that large, consequential events are missed by sections of modern society.

In the case of this semester’s college presidential search, this rarity appears to be happening.

In a Nov. 20 poll of 35 students throughout the Sanford/Lake Mary and Oviedo campuses, only 32 percent knew that there was a vacancy in the president’s office, while 68 percent of the students claimed that did not even know a search was ongoing.

On Aug. 21, Dr. Ann McGee announced she would be stepping down as president of Seminole State College in July 2018. Since then, a search committee has been formed, a search firm chosen, and meetings have begun to discuss possible candidates and qualifications required for the soon-to-be vacant presidential position.

The announcement made its way through campus by word of mouth and through email chains. Yet, a majority of students polled had no idea such actions were occurring.

While not every student polled wanted to share their opinion other than a simple “yes or no,” several students noted what they want to see from a new president and how that person can improve their college experiences.

For many, the need for a more (or in some cases better) food choices was an issue of importance. On Seminole State campuses throughout Central Florida, the choice is relegated to one chain: Nature’s Table. Offering a variety of refreshments and meals on the Altamonte Springs, Oviedo, and Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, Nature’s Table is a quick service eatery open for all students.

“What we need is another cafeteria,” said Sayyada Manekia, a student majoring in early childhood education.

Sitting next to her, Chelsy Chandler, her friend as well as a student in the same major, narrowed it down. While Nature’s Table is “all right,” Chandler said she hopes to see quick service stations where she could grab her “favorite fries without having to go across campus.”

Along the same lines, Haley Tennant and David Bonet, film and undecided majors respectively, agreed that the food on campus should “cheaper for students.” Smiling, Bonet noted that “free food is always welcome wherever it is on campus.”

Students who want a different food choice will get their wish answered in January when Nature’s Table is replaced by Canteen cafés (see separate story: theseminolescribe.com).

Besides a change in food, parking on campus was a pressing issue to many interviewed.

In regard to the Sanford/Lake Mary campus, Breanna Blackard said that “better parking” must be looked into by a new president.

Majoring in business, Blackard noted that with each semester there are “a lot of new people” and parking becomes limited very quickly. Blackard said that “maybe a new (parking) lot or even a new garage” could be the solution.

Radel Hartley, an 18-year-old student, also noted the issues with parking by saying that it could be “crazy” at times “to find a parking spot in the mornings.”

The Sanford/Lake Mary campus maintains at least 10 student parking lots with parking passes free for students who apply.

For Danielle McKenzie, a psychology major, there was another issue she hoped a new president could solve to better her college experience: class choice and price.

While noting her own class choices were not quite limited yet, she wants “more class choices” as students approach higher levels of their degree programs. To her, it feels “like the bare minimum” was offered at times, while the price of the classes does not change.

According to the SSC website, the school offers more than 200 programs in its Associates Degree program on four campuses, and Bachelor’s degree programs as well.

For more information on the presidential search, students can visit www. Seminolestate.edu/president-search. This site contains a timeline, specifics on the selected search firm, and much more for students to keep informed on the prolonged project of presidential selection.

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