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VOICE report to gather student views


By Matthew Glowicki



At a school of more than 40,000 students, individual student input can get lost in the shuffle. The second commissioning of Vision of the Ideal College Environment Report will try to fix that.

IU President Michael McRobbie commissioned the first VOICE Report during the 2007-08 school year to gather student input on the campus environment and how it can be improved.

Four years later, IUSA re-commissioned the report because of campus changes, said Augustin Ruta, IUSA Chief of Internal Affairs and co-executive director of the VOICE committee.

“The VOICE report is a compilation of student thought about where IU is now and how ideas can create a framework of how to make improvements,” Ruta said.

The first VOICE Report helped create the Student Technology Center in the Indiana Memorial Union and bring WiFi to all campus residence centers.

VOICE will focus on five areas: student collaboration, intellectual curiosity, facilities, campus safety and technology. It is does not cover all campus issues but will explore these areas in depth.

The report will bring together campus leaders to research and write a hundred-plus page report. The presidents of the IU Student Foundation, the IU chapter of the Timmy Foundation, Union Board, Student Recreational Sports Association and Residence Halls Association will chair committees.

Small groups of committee members from campus organizations are currently in selection process. Student committee members will be set by winter break and ready to begin work in the new semester.

Though IUSA is facilitating the report’s creation, IUSA doesn’t intend to promote its own concerns, said Jarad Winget, IUSA chief of intergovernmental affairs and co-executive director of the VOICE committee. IUSA executives connect committee heads with campus resources necessary to complete the report.

Through a system of student surveys, focus groups and meetings, VOICE committees will gather student input during the coming months.

After the report’s expected completion late next semester, it will be given to IU administrators for examination and consideration.

Max Shelton, president of the IU chapter of the Timmy Foundation, is heading the Intellectual Curiosity Committee, which will explore the ways to expand and improve educational opportunities.

“I feel like a lot of people get frustrated sometimes that their voice isn’t getting heard,” Shelton said.

“All the elements are there, but I don’t know if we had a mechanism to bring those voices together. That’s why this project seems fantastic because you have various campus leaders from all over campus working together.”

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