Campus Safety, depression and Food among the biggest concerns at the 2019 open forum

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Campus Safety, depression and Food among the biggest concerns at the 2019 open forum

Courtesy of SUNY Buffalo State's official Twitter page (@buffalostate)

Courtesy of SUNY Buffalo State's official Twitter page (@buffalostate)

Courtesy of SUNY Buffalo State's official Twitter page (@buffalostate)

Shavonne Pucula, Staff Writer

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This year’s Student Open Forum was held on Oct. 1 during Bengal Pause. Students were able to ask questions and bring up concerns that they had about the school and how things work on campus.

SUNY Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner, Vice President of Student Affairs Tim Gordon, and other members of the president’s cabinet were on hand to answer questions.

The room was mostly filled with seniors voicing their concerns from their experience. Some of these concerns were camera safety and patrol, depression and anxiety on campus and of course food.

Camera safety and patrol

The weekend before the forum there was an incident on campus where gunshots were fired. This brought up a lot of concern about safety on campus and President Conway-Turner was expecting a question that was related to those events.

One student asked about camera safety and how often the cameras are looked at and replaced.

Chief of University Police Peter Carey stated that the cameras are checked regularly. There is a person in IT whose job is to oversee the computer system and when they see that something isn’t working properly and it needs to be replaced or adjusted they fix it immediately. He continued by saying that if you see something on campus that you have a concern with, like something not working properly, ask them and they’ll report it and refer it to its appropriate department.

Another student brought up her concern of patrol in the parking lots. The chief said that the university has a general patrol. Before each shift change, they’re updated on everything that happened in the last 24 hours and refocus their patrols based on what took place.

In response to the past weekends’ incidents, they have more officers patrolling the area for the next couple of weeks. The chief wants the Buffalo State community, to take advantage of all the services they offer and to watch out for one another.

Depression and anxiety on campus

Another senior brought up depression and anxiety on campus and he expressed great concern on the topic.

President Conway-Turner assured the audience that issues with depression and anxiety are issues that they are very concerned about across campus – it’s a sever national issue.

The vice president then went on to talk about things that are going on around campus. There are various groups around campus to join that can help anyone in need of extra support. The school says they’re working on increasing the number of people around campus who are trained to identify signs of depression.

Food

Like every year yet another student brought up the concern of the food offered on campus. According to the Chartwells Resident District Manager Glenn Bucello, who is in charge of dining on campus, great things are going on in the kitchen that a lot of students don’t know about. Many of the new changes that have taken place in the kitchen are due to student input. There is “text to chat” service, with information on posters found in both food areas, with a number that goes directly to the director of dinning’s phone where students can voice their opinions, thoughts, concerns, and new ideas.

There is also a teaching kitchen that takes place on campus that allows students to interact with the chef and learn valuable kitchen skills along with new recipes to try at home. This isn’t just a fun time, but it helps prepare students for when they are on their own after college.

Bucello was also very pleased to inform the room that if students have a certain home recipe that they want to share, that each year the campus holds a recipe from home contest. Three groups of students cook during Bengal Pause in the lobby and then the winning recipe goes on the menu cycle for the next semester. 

All in all, the cabinet members were satisfied with this year’s open forum and a lot of concerns and thoughts were brought to the surface and addressed. 

President Conway-Turner believes that the forum is a great way for students to express their concerns and a great way to know them all by face so if students see any of them across campus, they can express their thoughts and concerns throughout the year.

The president was not surprised by any of the questions but was surprised that there weren’t many questions about majors.

She feels that what the kitchen is doing to help include the interests of everyone is wonderful.

Due to the prior weekend events, she was expecting security questions. She assures those in attendance that the UPD staff works hard to keep everyone safe. 

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