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 Sarah Shepherd's Letter to the College Community
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Posted - 2006 August 16 :  16:41:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
May 9, 2005

To the College Community,

I write this letter as the Student Supervisor of Student Outdoor Activities Office. I have worked at the Student Activities Center for three of my four years plus one summer at St. Johnís as a work-study student worker. I write this letter also member of the College Community, one crucial to the existence and success of St. JohnísĖa student.

Over the four years which the class of 2005 has been students, the administration enacted a few changes that directly affect student life in a negative way. These changes, listed below, spring mainly from the Treasurerís Office; and while they may have made bookkeeping, budgets, etc. more convenient for that office, without doubt have made life at St. Johnís more difficult for students.
These changes are:
--Not allowing program books/manuals to be charged to oneís student account
--Not allowing health supplies/prescriptions to be charged to oneís student account, and delivered to student mailboxes
Most recently, --Questioning the budgets and/or existence of the Outdoor Activities Programs (rafting, skiing, Search and Rescue)

I bring up these changes in order to elucidate my question of where the Administrationís priorities lie. I would answer that though compromises must be made since the College is a business, student life should occupy the Administrationís foremost concern. The college is more than a business selling the product of education by means of its Faculty, especially with its small population. Likewise, the Administration should be able to foster a more personal relationship with students to the effect that the ease of student life is in mind when making decisions related to budget cuts, bottom lines, etc.

The school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities in order to enrich each studentís education, whether the class or activity a student prefers be art, music, martial arts, weightlifting, aerobics, intramurals, Search and Rescue, rafting, skiing, climbing, fencing, or more social organized activities such as disc golf, barbeques, inter-campus croquet, alumni rafting trips, etc. The collaboration of the three areas of extra-curricular life, located in the Student Activities Center and Directed by Mark St. John, with Cobalt Blue and C. J. McCue, makes possible this variety of enriching activities that students have come to love and demand in addition to the rigorous program at St. Johnís.

This series of letters was compiled to inform the College Community of the great advancements the Student Activities Department has developed this year (publicity usually being a lower priority than the projects themselves):
--a better skiing program
--a more involved Intramural program with a team and t-shirt for every student, faculty and staff member
--a more involved raft guide training program
--an all-inclusive rafting trip
--improved maintenance and organization of facilities
--free and more extra-curricular classes
--support of inter-campus activities like croquet, newer weight-room equipment
--the student-built disc-golf course
--continued excellence of the student-run Search and Rescue team
--higher participation in these and all other areas of the life of the body

The letters also discuss studentís opinions and appreciation of Mr. St. Johnís efforts in directing these programs. The common desire of all these letters is to continue with the excellent range and caliber of programs already established at the College, not to cut back for the sake of making these easier on the staff: to prioritize students and others who utilize the resources of Activities Program has to offer.

Please also consider that I have asked each person to write letters about their respective interactions with the SAC, and I take full responsibility for the printing and mailing of this packet. Any questions or concerns should be directed toward me and not the students. Please consider each studentís intent separately from the others, as he/she can only be responsible for his/her own opinions. I also need to state that these letters were not solicited by Mr. St. John.

Sarah Shepherd
Student Activities Student Supervisor
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