In light of recent events, the Office of the President hosted an event to increase transparency between administration and students.
“Pizza with the President” was held in Blind Onion Pizza and Wings on Monday, Dec. 3, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students were able to ask their questions and voice their concerns with university president, Marc Johnson.
Issues of concern raised by students included swastika carvings in Peavine Hall, the Tau Kappa Epsilon investigation and racism on campus.
Johnson stressed the importance of reporting incidents of sexual assault and racism to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX.
“Anytime you would see a swastika, anytime you would hear a racial slur anytime you would hear of glorification of sexual assault or things of that nature, I hope you do report it to Title IX. The Title IX number is on the front of nearly every syllabus,” Johnson said. “Please report these issues.”
Johnson addressed the mass email notification sent out on the early morning of Saturday, Dec. 1. The email warned students of a sexual assault that had taken place behind the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center around 10:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.
“We had a sexual assault on this campus this weekend which threw a lot of fear into people,” Johnson said. “Fortunately, we have an alert system to let you know what is going on, where it’s going on so you can keep your eyes and ears open.”
Students voiced concerns about the lack of lighting in certain parking lots. According to Johnson, a Campus Safety Walk is performed annually to identify “dangerous” spots that are not well lit and could be prone to hazards and attacks. After the Safety Walk, the areas highlighted as potentially dangerous are reported to Facilities Services to be fixed according to severity.
In response to poorly lit areas, students expressed displeasure with the Campus Escort and Pack Transit services. According to Johnson, a student fee was proposed to enhance these services but was not approved.
Students also asked about the status of the TKE investigation.
“When TKE’s song was identified on that computer, the university temporarily suspended them as a fraternity,” Johnson said. “Their national organization temporarily suspended them as a fraternity so they couldn’t meet and both entities are continuing their investigations to figure out what actually happened and what to do next. It appears that they are in violation with the university agreement.”
Students also wondered why the investigation had yet to conclude and when it was predicted to finish.
“There are a number of moving parts, but we want you to understand we are going at this assessment as meticulously and thoroughly as we can to be sure we are doing our due diligence,” said Dean of Students, Kim Thomas.