Editorial: Next VP for Student Affairs must be in tune with students
February 12, 2013
Before Esther Peralez, Missouri Western was without a vice president for student affairs. If her brief time here taught students and faculty one thing it’s that we need a VP.
It’s an important job. College isn’t just about grades and diplomas. It’s about an experience. What students need is an administrator that understands who they are and what they are going through. College can be a rough transition for 18-year-olds and the same can be said for nontraditional students. We need an administrator who understands and empathizes with the plight of both of these groups.
College is also a time of experimentation. This is the unwritten allowance of the college experience. We don’t have to go into detail about what college students may or may not do during their time here, but mistakes will be made. The vice president for student affairs must be forgiving and understand that during periods of growth, these mistakes are made.
Also, the vice president for student affairs must understand what students want. This must be a natural ability, not one discovered through surveys and questionnaires. The ideal vice president will be able to draw on his or her own experiences from college and remember what excited them about college. They must be able to say that their college experience was memorable and help create those memories for Western’s students.
No doubt, being the vice president for Student Affairs at Missouri Western may be one of the most demanding at this school or in the state. Western is diverse in ways that other schools are not. Relating to all of these different types students will be difficult at times. The vice president must be able to transition between roles for these students because not everyone at Western is looking for the same experience.
Some of us are just looking for a GPA. Others are still looking for themselves. Some of us know exactly what we want. Regardless, we all have different needs and wants from our university, but we all do need something or else we wouldn’t be here.
Western is a home for nomads. We’re a place that accepts anyone regardless of ACT, GPA or DUIs. There are felons and scholars in our walls but we’re proud of them all. The only thing we ask is that the next vice president for student affairs is one of us.