Student Senate Reimagining Begins

Student Life Conducting Focus Groups With Students

Shayne Williamson, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Student Life has begun taking steps to reestablish student representation on campus by drawing feedback from the student body in focus groups.

Sam Schlernitzauer, Bridgewater College’s coordinator of student engagement and leadership, described the focus groups as a way to “collect feedback from students on their experiences from this semester and have an honest conversation with how students are feeling.”

It’s been a tough year, and this focus group helped more students come forward to express that

— Senior Kylie Revely

To fill the focus groups with students eager to help reshape student representation on campus, Schlernitzauer “pulled students from student leader rosters, staff and faculty recommendations, and from students who signed up through MyBC,” allowing for a mix of already established student leaders and fresh faces who are looking to make an impact.

Kylie Revely, a senior and SOAR mentor, attended one of the early student representation focus groups. Revely felt that the focus group “accomplished a common understanding of why the campus climate feels so different for students,” and further added that “genuinely it’s been a tough year, and this focus group helped more students come forward to express that to Student Life.”

After the conclusion of the focus groups, Schlernitzauer plans to “go through the notes to pull out themes from the conversations and share them amongst our office and with the new Student Representation Team.” From there, Student Life will “make adjustments to events as needed for this semester and take the feedback into account for our programming for spring.”

For students who are unable to attend any of focus groups, Schlernitzauer encourages them to “reach out to our office via [email protected] or to me if they want to talk to someone specifically. I am happy to meet with students via Zoom or our on the campus mall. Additionally, they can attend desserts with the dean and share their feedback there.”