More than 40 students offered feedback on the 11 drafted goals of University of Richmond's five-year Strategic Plan at a discussion-based meeting in the Queally Center pavilion Wednesday night.

“We’re really appreciative of getting as much student input as possible,” President Ronald Crutcher said.

During the meeting, called “Panera with the President,” students from organizations including both student governments, the Center for Civic Engagement and College Republicans, snacked on food from Panera Bread and discussed the goals in small groups.

A member of the steering committee sat with each group, listened and took notes. The notes from committee members and from student groups will be shared with the entire steering committee, Crutcher said.

“From now until the end of the semester we’re really focused on getting community feedback,” Jan French, co-chair of the strategic plan steering committee, said.

Crutcher asked the student groups to discuss if the drafted goals resonated with them, if they made sense and how they should be prioritized.

Jabari Lucas, a senator for Richmond College Student Government Association (RCSGA), pointed out that the fourth goal in the list was to “create and a support a culture of writing” while the goal to increase the proportion of low- and middle-income, minority and first-generation students was seventh.

Another RCSGA senator, Chase Williams, noted that writing was necessary in every major and was a highly-valued skill in the workforce. He suggested a plan to bring more professional writers on campus.

RCSGA President Ken Anderson said he liked the sixth goal, which seeks to foster equity and inclusion and establish methods of accountability.

“It’s showing that it isn’t just something that we say, but something that we do,” Anderson said.

The fifth goal says students and faculty will regularly engage intellectually inside and outside of the classroom, something of which senior Liz Nigro would like to see more.

“I think SSIRs have been so successful, we should be looking to expand on those kinds of experiences more,” Nigro said.

Nigro also suggested a new coffee shop or open space on the Westhampton side of campus designated for conversation in response to goal 10. The goal addresses intellectual engagement and community-building within campus spaces.

The third goal seeks to increase visibility of scholarly and creative work. Williams pointed out the limited amount of Richmond-branded apparel for sale, which “goes along with the national visibility that Dr. Crutcher is promoting,” he said.

A full first draft of the Strategic Plan will be shared in February after feedback is considered and incorporated.

Contact news writer Ashlee Korlach at ashlee.korlach@richmond.edu.

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