Archive for category Stakeholders

Let’s Take a Closer Look

Longwood is becoming a more popular place to attend for higher education. The amount of students being admitted into the university is increasing each year. This is, of course, a positive turn out for the university, however there are some issues that come along with raising the freshman class. There are issues for students who have been enrolled in the university for years now and even for students who are about to graduate. As we increase the amount of students at Longwood, the on campus housing realizes that there aren’t enough beds for students. Due to this more recent issue, students who have completed 48 credits can apply to live off campus. The amount of credits has decreased significantly over the years. Just last year students had to complete 56 credit hours in order to apply. When I first entered as a freshman into Longwood, they stated and prided themselves on the fact that they could house students from freshman to senior year if they wished. This is no longer the case. The amount of living space on campus has decreased as two residential halls are undergoing renovations. One building, French Hall, which originally house 105 students, is being renovated for the technology center, housing computer services, the radio station and the TV studio for Communication Studies. The Cunningham Residence Halls will be completely demolished in the near future erasing 448 rooms.

I bring this up because as all of these things are happening on campus, more students are moving off campus and the off campus housing companies cannot accommodate everyone and their needs; specifically those students who need leases for half a year only. Students who are involved in the nursing program and the liberal studies program, students who decide to transfer in to Longwood, those who study abroad for a semester, or even those students who need an extra semester to finish their undergraduate or graduate program could greatly benefit from having a six month lease. The issue is that the housing companies don’t want to create six-month leases thinking that they will be able to fill these spots with students who will live there for the entire year. The list of students that I provided is not a small number of students. Students in the nursing and liberal studies program alone generate a good percentage in itself that shows the companies that it’s worth having the leases. 200 students transferred into Longwood this last year and that number is only from the Fall of 2013. There are approximately 50 students in the nursing program that have the option to go out into another county to complete their placement that could use six month leases as well. Longwood’s liberal studies program is one of the largest on campus and students also have the opportunity to leave the town of Farmville to complete their placement elsewhere. The numbers add up to a lot of money being wasted to the students signing leases for a year and only living in them for half the time. Wasting away hundreds of dollars a month is not ideal for students who most likely already have student loans and other debts to pay off. Housing shouldn’t be this large of an issue.

A Quick Catch Up

An original suggestion for this topic was for the companies to offer one or two continuous six-month leases to the apartments they already own. This seemed like an idea that would work pretty effortlessly. However, after talking to a consultant at one of the nearby housing companies, she told me otherwise. (Refer back to One Side Verses The Other for more details) I decided to find out what was listed in our area for what I was searching for-I wasn’t picky either. An online apartment list only provided me with one housing company that offered it. I was more shocked than not. I understand that it’s not common for many people to only need a six-month lease and that it’s slim to non that people passing through the area need a place to stay for six months, but Longwood University provides enough people to make a dent in the housing demand. Going back to the programs I listed in the beginning of this blog, upperclassmen who are in the Student Teaching Program, Nursing Program, students who decide to study abroad for a semester, or students who need to stay an extra semester to graduate would all benefit with a six-month lease. On US NEWS, they state that Liberal Studies/ Liberal Arts Majors consisted of 18% of the graduating class in 2012. In total, that comes out to being 774 students that could potentially need a lone semester here at school. That number doesn’t include all of the other students who may have decided to add another major and stay another semester to graduate or students who had the opportunity to study abroad either.

I’m not saying students haven’t been able to get by in the past, but I’m announcing the dissatisfaction with the amount of options the student body is given. Longwood University’s freshman class grows each year as the “largest class ever”, which can be positive for the university. However, what we aren’t paying attention to is the fact that if we continue this habit, students are going to run out of places to live. I bring this up because this year two residential halls are undergoing construction and the Residential Housing Company almost encourages students who are eligible to move off campus. They recently lowered the amount of credits a students need to move to off campus housing. The policy is that once a student moves off campus, they are not permitted to live back onto on campus housing again. With this being the case, the off campus housing companies now have to deal with the increased amount of students. Arizona state schools increased the amount of beds for the student demand because it rose so quickly. Since we’re much smaller than the school they mention, we wouldn’t nearly as many as they state. In a New Jersey article that discussed some similar issues, they stated that it could take approximately 3 years from the start of a project to the time tenants move in. At Longwood, there have been some quickly built apartment complexes and they appear to look nice, but after living in them myself for not even a whole year I can speak from experience that they were built cheaply.

Building a few more apartment complexes could be a place where students who specifically need six-month leases can live. A suggestion is to start a relatively manageable size in a space that can be expanded on later. Having more property can help out a large minority of the students who need a place to live in a relatively close proximity to campus.

Stakeholders on Bullying

Stakeholders in this situation would be various people. Depending on the view or angle one decides to come in at. In my case I am coming in on a policy angle. I am more focused on stakeholders such as committee boards, the principle, teachers, and parents. The students are the main concern. So, why are they not one of my stakeholders? I believe that in order to change a behavior you must start with the influences that focus that behavior. In this case, school guidelines and outside influences are going to have a larger impact than simply lecturing these students on bullying.

Interests in this subject is myself, a positive influence; as well as others. There are positive and negative influences, such as the board committee not wanting to have to use the time to re-write the policy handbook. Whereas teachers feel like they have enough on their plates as is. The principle, feels as if, he is doing the best he can although, not all things can be prevented. I feel like everyone WANTS to be invested, because deep down they know that it is an issue and needs to be addressed however they feel as if there is nothing that they can really do about it and that they should focus their time and energy on something else.

Unfortunately, this issue is much more than just policy being changed. It needs to be enforced; not only in the school environment but also in the home environment. If people such as the board committee or the school personnel feel like that is the source of the issue then their vested interest may not carry far due to the fact that they feel like there is not much that they can do.

A commonplace within the audience I am trying to address is agenda. Most of the persons on this committee have other full time jobs, families, social lives, or other pre-prioritized things. I feel like hitting an emotional level would be my best advancement. They already know the statistics, the information, the current policies, but the board members are not necessarily in the school systems everyday.  Many of them have or have had children in this particular school system. I feel like reiterating situations that perhaps a “gateways” around what little policy they have could effect a large population or even effect their credentials as a school system. In such a small town “image is everything” when someone can show them how their policy could ruin their image I feel like that is where it will hit close to home. No board member wants to be recognized as not being able to write and carry good policy, no principle wants to be seen as “not being able to control his students”, as would no teacher want to be seen as a pushover, a horrible teacher, or creating an unsafe learning environment.

In conclusion, this situation has many stakeholders. The stakeholders are on a local level. Combining anyone from a blue collar parent to a “high-sitting” board official. Some voices are spoken while many are quiet. This issue should be address by the “bottom of the totem-pole” or else change will never be met.

Drinking On College Campuses Stakeholders

Drinking in general is a problem that is consistent throughout the United States, and throughout history drinking on college campuses goes hand and hand which involves multiple people and creates multiple problems. While not all college students drink the primary focus is on the students that do and their actions as well as the outcomes. Students are the main stakeholders within this problem because without them drinking on college campuses would not be an issue. Students are affected by this problem because drinking can cause a decrease in academic performance and consequences from their poor decisons/actions.

Presidents are also a stakeholder within this problem because they are affected by the problem of students who drink on campus mainly those who are underaged. The presidents try to limit students drinking by creating rules and regulations to try and prevent these problems from happening. For example multiple colleges have a student handbook which notifies students on their policy of drinking on campus. By creating these rules and regulations presidents and school officials try to reduce the problem of drinking on campus. Another stakeholder involves multiple policy advocates and organizations that try to reduce drinking on college campuses. Organizations such as MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving) and HEP (Had Enough Project) use their efforts to try and inform and create policies for college students from drinking on campus and attempt to eliminate the problem. Another stakeholder includes beer companies that are focused on or around college campuses. Students that do drink buy from these beer companies and eliminating it would cause a decrease in their profits. Also law enforcement play a role in college drinking. they are affected by this issue because they have to be more cautious for the students that have been drinking for their safety as well as the society’s safety mainly for driving while under the influence.

Stakeholders of Farmville Leasing

Upperclassmen at Longwood University are impacted by this situation, especially those students in the liberal studies program, the nursing program, transfer students, or students who have chosen to study abroad during a Spring or Fall semester. Another stakeholder would be the off campus housing companies. A few popular companies that many students choose to rent through are Walk 2 Campus, Sunchase, Green Properties, and Poplar Forest.

Students who are in the liberal studies or nursing program understand that there is a great chance that they need to go to another city outside of Farmville there last semester senior year and that there are limited leases available to them. Most students end up paying the rent for the extra six months that they aren’t living here because the housing companies don’t allow for six-month contracts.

The housing companies point of the view however is that the University is expanding. There are more and more students that are being admitted and less places to be housed on campus therefore making them move off campus. Because of this, the housing companies feel they don’t need create six month leasing contracts because they will have more students who need yearly contracts in the end. It’s not that the students don’t understand the business side of their decision-making, it would just make the process of going to school and dealing with one more thing a little less complicated than it had to be. In the past, students end up upset or frustrated if the housing companies state that they will find someone to live in that apartment for the next six month and then fail to do so leaving the first set of tenants to pay the rent.

Some of these housing companies have six month leases however their prices are not advertised, nor when students go to ask about them are they made available to college aged students. Many state you must be 26 years old to live there or older, which most students who need these leases aren’t any older than 23.

An idea for the apartment communities would be easy to just extend a six or twelve month contract option, The majority of the time, students will choose the twelve anyway and it wouldn’t be much different. Giving the option for a six-month lease could open more leases with their company and help out a great percentage of students who struggle with this living situation.

Drinking and Learning: College Capuses

The social issue within my proposition is that underage drinking or drinking in general on college campuses is a growing concern, which is affecting multiple students. The stakeholders within this problem include students, teachers/staff, and law enforcement. The controversy of this problem is that children are not aware that the decisions that they make by drinking can cause problems within school or physical problems such as injuries and possibly death. I believe that students mainly underage and first year students are unaware of these problems, and the development of more programs on awareness can help to improve their decisions as well as their academic success.

Bullying in the Mecklenburg County Public School System

Bullying in the Mecklenburg County Public School System has become a large issue not only for students but for faculty and staff as well. Persons with spiked interest (stakeholders) would be the School Board Committee. They are the ones who propose and produce the policy manual for this school system. The faculty and staff of the individual schools also hold a stakeholder role in these policies as they are the ones who are expected to uphold these policies. Controversy within this topic is merely the fact that policies rarely exist defining this issue. If there are any policies that even mention the word bullying; the policy is too vague to enforce any consequences when the issue arises. This school system needs to update their policy exaggerating this as an issue not only within the school facilities but also as a community effort. The act of bullying can be found physically, mentally, online, in-person, within the community, as well as within the home. The policy needs to be brought to light and exaggerated in a more effective manner in this school system.

Additional Leases in the Farmville Community

For students who realize they need an extra semester to finish school, or for students who leave a semester early for an internship; the Farmville apartment communities don’t offer enough six month leases. Every year there are students in the nursing and teacher preparation program, who are on track to finish their undergraduates on time, that choose to do their placement in another city. With this being so common, students end up wasting their money on an apartment they aren’t living in. Since the school has such a large teaching program it would be nice to have a town support the students by having more compatible apartment leases.