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Bradley student leader feeling optimistic about university's future despite upcoming cuts

Bradley University President Stephen Standifird delivers his second annual State of the University address at the Dingeldine Music Center on Oct. 3, 2022.
Tim Shelley
Bradley University President Stephen Standifird delivers his second annual State of the University address at the Dingeldine Music Center on Oct. 3, 2022.

The Bradley University Student Senate recently hosted an open forum Q&A with university president Stephen Standifirdto address questions about upcoming academic restructuring.

Student body president Jack Batz is a senior political science major. Overall, he said the forum was a success.

“I thought it went pretty well. I think people were happy that they could get answers to their questions they had, even if those answers weren't the full material that they were looking for, they were still able to get kind of partial answers,” Batz said.

The Student Senate hosts an event with Standifird every year, but after the announcement of the budget shortfalls, students and faculty were eager to learn more.

“We had a pretty substantial space filled. We hold our General Assembly meetings in the Garrett Center, and we had to put (in) rows of chairs. We usually don't get a lot of people to come into our meetings,” Batz said, “But this was certainly an exception due to the situations going on on campus.”

Following the $13 million budget deficit announcementon July 31, Standifird hosted forums in August thatleft students and faculty with questions about what cuts would be made.

Batz said some students left the Student Senate forum with similar feelings.

“Of course, after this, you have some people that come up and think that answers were lackluster, because they expect to get everything on the floor. That's, of course, not something that they’re able to share because a lot of this stuff is confidential,” Batz said.

Batz also said Standifird may not be the person to answer specific questions students have regarding the budget issues.

“I think we're mostly going to focus on getting those people that really can speak on the topics. And I know, we're definitely gonna work to get another Q&A with people that can actually answer those questions. And Standifird probably isn't the person that we would invite for that,” Batz said.

Despite the dissatisfaction of some of his peers, Batz said he holds a positive outlook for the future of the university.

“I hear all the bad. They told me all of it. And although I'm a senior, I'm graduating, nothing's gonna get better while I'm a student here,” he said, “But I also hear about these new projects that are going to happen on campus and there's some really exciting ones.”

In addition to hosting more forums, Batz said the Student Senate is working to get students involved in the committee evaluation processes that will help administrators determine what will be cut.

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Isabela Nieto is a student reporting intern at WCBU. Isabela is also a student at Bradley University in Peoria.