When Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Kimberly Crawford sat down during student leader training over the summer and asked why they were at Piedmont, every single person in the room named a person.
“It can be easy to pinpoint the negative things or the things that we don’t like, but we need to remember why we’re still here and a lot of times I feel like it is the people and the personal connections you make,” said Crawford. “I feel like that community of care is something that often gets overlooked, but I think it is one of the best things we have to offer at Piedmont.”
Kanler Cumbass, President of Piedmont’s Student Government Association echoed her remarks,
“Faculty and Staff share a passion for serving students. People bend over backward. I don’t know of any other college where that is the case,” he said.
In the midst of midterms, the Roar took an opportunity to sit down with Dr. Crawford and President Cumbass to talk about some of the positive ways student affairs is doing just that.
“Anytime Piedmont students have a concern the administration the school listens to the students 110%. That’s meaningful. None of us would be here of students weren’t a thing,” said Cumbass.
Throughout the year, students may notice more construction than usual with renovations to Purcell Hall underway, as well as to the Student Success Center. The National Society for Leadership and Success already began the creation of an ENO garden by the volleyball court which will be unveiled later this fall and will be open to all students. In addition, SGA plans on giving the old Commuter Lounge in the basement of Daniel Hall a facelift and turning it into a “third space.”This new space will offer snacks and a cozy place to hang out or study in between classes and will be up and running by December, just in time for finals.
Dr. Gene Pease, the Director of Disability Support, worked to get a handicap accessible WEPA placed in the Student Commons so that students in wheelchairs could more easily utilize Piedmont’s printing service. Another significant change in the realm of student accessibility now available to Piedmont students is the addition of the G8 Station on the weekends. While the station will not be fully operational, students with allergy specific needs can now submit an Allergen Friendly Meal Request Form during the week for meals to be ready for them on the weekends.
“Students can go online to see the menu beforehand and look at allergens that will be present in each meal. We have been really trying to make sure students are aware of what is in the foods so that way if they have any allergies they can see those things ahead of time,” said Crawford.
All of these new changes have come through the voice of the student body. Dr. Crawford noted that the more positively a student comes to the administration with a suggestion, the more open the administration is to working with them to change it. However, change also takes hard work and speaking up.
“The best way to get something changed is to have a hand in the pot. If you want something changed, grab a nail and hammer, and you get out there and do it yourself with the administration’s help,” said Cumbass. “There are so many students who like to complain, but it takes sitting in a meeting and hearing about all the aspects that it takes to create change. You have to be willing to stand up and lend a hand. One or two people can’t do it by themselves. It’s a campus effort.”
“The more we are aware of things that students want, the more we are able to advocate for students and advocate for things,” said Crawford. “Students may not feel like that, but we really do care.”