FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
NDSU is actually student-focused
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 02:10
NDSU prides itself on being a student-focused, land-grand research university—this slogan in seen in many marketing strategies implemented by NDSU and on the university homepage.
With over 14,000 students on campus, it’s difficult to think a university actually cares about that many people on an individual level. However, I believe even though NDSU has been generally growing year-by-year, even upper-level administration strives to foster beneficial relationships with its students.
Last week, I was invited to have lunch with Vice President of Student Affairs Prakash Mathew.
Initially I was nervous—and slightly skeptical—about lunch with the VP. Many higher-up administration members seem like they have crafted messages created and approved by someone lower on the totem pole, which is kind of what I expected. The meeting turned out to be the complete opposite.
Mathew sets up a lunch meeting with every incoming Editor in Chief toward the beginning of the year. Not to spew out phony messages; not to fulfill a hidden agenda or to ensure a positive representation of NDSU; Mathew is genuinely concerned about creating valuable relationships with students.
The meeting is held each year to open the lines of communication between The Spectrum and administration. Janna Stoskopf, dean of Student Life, was also at the meeting and proved that she was open to help the publication in any way possible.
Mathew began by getting to know Managing Editor Lisa Marchand and myself. He wanted to know how else we were involved on campus, our hobbies and our future career goals.
Matthew was open to us about himself as well. He announced his retirement in July and told us about plans after he finishes his term at NDSU.
He looks forward to giving back to the community after his retirement, along with pursuing traveling goals (he mentioned a Canadian train tours as one of his major destinations). He also said he thinks he will begin writing his book that many people have been pushing him to do.
He has a way of making everyone feel comfortable in his presence, beginning right when we walked into his office when he offered to hang out our coats. He also welcomed us to stop by and take jelly beans from the infamous bowl in his office.
I for once will be sad to see Mathew go at the end of his term in June 2014. In the NDSU News article regarding Mathew’s retirement, Bresciani stated, “He has literally been the heart of NDSU for 30-plus years.”
After officially meeting Mathew and gaining a better understanding of his leadership role, this statement is nothing short of the truth, and I think this goes for many of the university’s administration members. Next time you see Mathew in the Union, don’t be afraid to say “hi,” because that is what our administration is working for.
Emma is a senior majoring in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @emmajheaton2.