Charlotte Weiss

Staff Writer

At Lorain County Community College, the utmost importance is placed upon providing open and engaging forums for students to collaborate and participate in leadership initiatives.

On Nov. 11, leaders of student campus organizations met in the student senate office for dinner and a discussion with Marcia Ballinger, the provost vice president of LCCC, about the current focus and priorities of students on campus and the various programs being promoted by Student Life.

With the promise of a pizza and casual conversation, the forum was designated as informal at the behest of the provost. “Students should feel comfortable coming forward with concerns,” encouraged Ballinger. One of her key initiatives this semester has been to promote the flow of dialogue and the participation among students and campus organizations with the administration.

The purpose of the meeting was primarily to check in with the student body and see where students at LCCC have set their sights in terms of goals and desires for accomplishment. “We really want some good feedback and responses,” said Ballinger. The notion of not setting any specific agenda was to inspire the concept of brainstorming in a think-tank like environment, where students could deliberate and bounce ideas for the betterment of the campus community off of each other.

In attendance was the majority of the Student Senate and many leaders of campus organizations such as Phi Theta Kappa and the Society of Professional Journalists. “I was delighted to see how many were able to make it,” said Ballinger. Acknowledging the hectic schedules of students, it was her hope to host the conversation at a convenient time for all that were given invitations to attend.

The ideas championed by Student Life that were highlighted at the meeting were the Commodore Cupboard, the CARE Center, and the various initiatives of the Veterans Club on campus. “We’re a rich campus environment for Student Life,” complimented Ballinger, speaking about her appreciation of the campus community. It is her desire to increase the publicity and involvement in these enterprises.

Hoping to plant seeds for future ideas and input, Ballinger has plans to make these discussions a regular occurrence. “We’ve done this the past several years. It’s creating more engagement with students,” remarked Ballinger. She expressed hope to be able to host two or three more discussions similar to the one that took place during each semester at LCCC.