By: W James
In Eleanor Searle drawing room this past Tuesday, the Student Government Association and Florida Southern Administration hosted a Town Hall, where students and faculty could pose questions face-to-face with the leading figures of the College.
Among those present was President Dr. Anne Kerr, Vice President of Finance and Administration Terry Dennis, and Director of Food Services Tim Rable.
The Florida Southern College administration talked about several new initiatives that are in discussion, including a medical laboratory degree and a doctorate degree in physical therapy.
“You go three years undergraduate as a science major on campus, and then do your fourth year at the hospital.,” Dr. Kerr explained. “This also being done in conjunction with Lakeland Regional Hospital.”
Along with the launch of the new doctorate in physical therapy, the college is also launching a new cadaver lab, to be located on Florida Avenue. The inaugural class for this new program will be the spring of 2018. The administration is also looking into a new master’s degree program in psychology.
“We have a new admissions center that will be open either December  or January , and that is being funded by Jim France, Executive Vice President of NASCAR,” Kerr said.
According to Bill Carew, director of campus safety, the shuttle system has also seen success, especially with students going to and from the off-campus apartments. “Last year, we had requests to have a shuttle in the evening from six to eleven. We have been running a shuttle service,” Carew said, “ Since we started it, we have had over 850 riders that have taken the shuttle.”
The Garden apartments will see an increase in parking spaces closer to the school by January 2018. The potential for building new dorms or apartments in the near future was also mentioned. The administration emphasized that there will be a survey going out to students in the spring semester to ask what improvements they want to see on campus.
Hurricane Irma became another focal point for discussion at Town Hall; specifically, panelists addressed the concern of specific buildings on campus, such as the Buckner Theatre and the Danforth Chapel.
According to Provost Kyle Fedler, “This is something we are always struggling with: to keep the integrity of the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and keep them in good condition while also keeping them as usable buildings,”
Fedler also said they will look into those problems and see if there is anything that can be anything done at this current time.
Student-submitted questions also addressed the lack of ‘safe spaces’ on campus, citing their implementation at other campuses across the country.
“Florida Southern wants to promote the exchange of ideas. That’s the reason we are here in an academic environment,” Bill Langston, Dean of Student Development, said. “We also want to promote a sense of community and mutual respect and inclusivity.”
According to Langston, Florida Southern seeks to bring a constructive dialogue and opposes allowing a toxic, tear-down, or derogatory environment for students on campus.
For more information as well as the live-stream of this semester’s Town Hall, please visit Student Government’s Facebook page.