LAR students spearhead conversations

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On Thursday, students are invited to attend a public forum where they can voice their concerns about potential changes regarding the reported removal of personal advisers and the LAR courses at Doane. 

LAR courses are the liberal arts requirement offered by Doane at the 101, 202 and 303 levels. 

The public forum comes in response to an Owl article published last week and an email sent out to students from Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experiences Jake Hoy-Elswick.

Students in Marilyn Johnson-Farr’s LAR 202 class have been hosting events at the Beige Desk outside the cafeteria this week asking students to sign a petition and write a letter stating their feelings about the proposed changes. 

Sophomore Riley Spicer said that the goal of the event is to bring attention to the higher-ups of Doane, so they can see the impact their decisions have on students. Spicer said that members of the administration were invited to attend, but Vice President Hoy-Elswick and his team would be in attendance to answer questions for the students.  

Spicer said that he understands that the administration is trying to promote a greater Doane, but he feels that the students aren’t being listened to.

“They increased tuition, but where is that money going?” Spicer said.

Spicer hopes that in the short-term that content-specific advisers are protected for the students and that in the long-term there is better communication between the faculty, staff and student body. 

There have been over 200 responses from the survey, and sophomore Lillie Bowman said that the biggest concern stated regarded potential changes to advisers. 

Bowman said that she chose Doane because the students are catered to personally; something that differs from larger universities. 

“I chose Doane because I went to a small rural high school, so I had a small class size,” Bowman said. “When I visited, the closeness I felt and the personal touch professors gave me was something I wanted in that guaranteed experience.”

Bowman hopes the event will create a space for students to access and share their voices with administration and have their voices heard. 

 “There have been other discussions around campus that personal advisers in your area of study will no longer exist. That notion is also false,” Elswick said in his Nov. 22 email. 

The public forum will be held in the Art and Education 236/242 on Thursday at 7:30 pm.