By Will DeWitt
Students from all over campus played their part in planning the future of Baylor on Tuesday by going and voicing their opinions at Student Government's strategic planning input sessions. More than 400 students congregated at Fountain Mall for hot dogs, Dr Pepper and to fill out a survey on where they think Baylor will be in the next 10 years. Students also had the opportunity to tell Student Government officials what they would like to see in Baylor's future.
"It gives us more face-to-face, personable, interactions," Fort Worth sophomore David Childress said, "I mean, surveys are cool because you get free food and stuff like that but talking is much better."
The day ended with an input session at Barfield Drawing Room at 7 p.m., where students listened to Dr. Elizabeth Davis, executive vice president and provost of academic affairs, who is leading the new strategic plan, speak about what students can do to directly affect the future of Baylor.
"When the President said all voices must be heard we had to create a process in which all voices would be heard," said Davis, "Your input is every bit as important as everyone else's input."
After Davis concluded, Ashley Thornton, director for continuous improvement, introduced participants to questions of Baylor's future -- including facilities, community service and athletics -- as they went around the room writing their input at different stations.
"Universities are the places that shape the people that shape the world and you now have an opportunity to shape Baylor University," Thornton said.
Students, who normally haven't had a voice in the strategic planning process, were eager to express their input and their appreciation that Baylor and Student Government are working to gather everyone's opinions.
"I respect Student Government's willingness and enthusiasm for trying and including Baylor's student body as a whole within the development of Baylor's strategic vision and where we want to go as a university," said Fort Worth senior Daniel Blauser.
The importance of the input session and other input sessions to come was not lost on those present, as the opportunity to help shape the next 10 years at Baylor only comes around once a decade.
"I think it's a really great opportunity," said Chicago junior Grant Agbefe. "I think the university really affects the students most of all and I think it's great that they have people here to put in their opinions."