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Listening Box Responses

​The Listening Box continues to provide a venue for students and staff to share concerns, ideas, suggestions, and comments with the college community. The leadership team is very serious about responding to all concerns. We continue to strive to meet the needs of all our community, students, and staff. We care about our people, our students, and our staff. Please try to be respectful of one another when submitting your specific concerns. The intent of the Listening Box is to provide a tool that encourages and supports growth. To that end, we reserve the right to edit your comments for publication.

Complaints against individuals will not be responded to publicly. If you would like a response, please leave your name and contact information.

April 2018

1. CONCERN:

I feel that the current art installation with the noose and the girl laying on the floor is inappropriate at this time and in that space. Since we are at the anniversary of the shooting, it is insensitive to have that art there. I understand the need for free speech but place the art elsewhere. It is disrespectful to the family of Janeera. As we process our loss and wounds, that art should not be there.

RESPONSIBILITY:  

Shawnda Floyd, VP of Academic Affairs; David Evan, Executive Dean or Visual and Performing Arts

RESPONSE:

The Gallery is a free speech area, as you have stated. As such, it is important to remember that everyone in this country has the freedom to express themselves. Often one’s expression of self is different than another’s and there is much to learn about how to balance personal emotions and values with the emotions and values of others within our society. When balancing personal rights and the rights of others we must consider equity, mutual respect, and civility.

In the case of the art work, the student is expressing pain and hope. There is an artist’s statement that explains in further detail the student’s journey from suicide and pain to hope and a future.

The Artist’s Statement:
“With The Story Doesn't End Here, the idea centers around how suicide isn't an option. For you have this figure that is lying on the ground. She has been wrapped around in rope. Across her face is this look of realization and fear as she stares at the noose. That is because she is aware the path that she's on isn't a healthy one. It's a path that will lead to a terrible ending. So, she is beginning to pull the noose and its hold off of her. The noose is falling apart as she does so. For this is her final say. There's no going back.

That is suicide isn't something she is going to resort ever again. “

As an institution of higher education, it is critical that we embrace multiple perspectives and cultures. We cannot censor, but rather we should lead the difficult discussions, champion the expression of diverse opinions, and challenge the status quo. Art is wonderful medium for conversation and opening new ways to look at each other’s experiences and for considering each other’s thoughts.

It is tragic what happened in our gallery last year, but it should not be used to silence or limit our students’ freedom of speech and expression. Art is one way they are dealing with their own experiences in a productive, vulnerable, and brave outlet. We should look at their work as a gift they are sharing with us.

The Art Department is always willing to further explain anything we produce or exhibit.  We will also begin displaying Artist Statements in the gallery along with each exhibit to better explain the artwork in context with the viewers.

Learning can be challenging, painful, and emotional, and a gallery is a learning environment. Art is made for a multitude of purposes and functions from utilitarian objects, to communication, personal expression, social or political awareness, for spiritual practice, and/or just for visual delight. 

2. CONCERN:

On 4/13/18 I sat at the Admin office approx. 1 hour for a SIMPLE address change. Only two reps were working. I saw 2 other reps close their windows and go to lunch. Later, 2 different reps opened their windows, helped 1 student each then closed their windows. One parent walked up to the window while the rep was wrapping up her last student's record. The parent skipped line with a question and instead of being referred to the front desk to get on the waiting list, the rep assisted the parent! I realize 11:30 is lunchtime and you may have been short staffed BUT, working adults/students have to try to fit these mandatory in person transactions in on our lunch hour. I work 4 mins from North Lake and this should have been plenty of time to take care of a 3 min transaction without going over my 1-hour lunchtime.

   1. You need more staff coverage during lunch

   2. Don't allow people to walk up, sit down and get help when people are on the waiting list and have been waiting 30+ minutes

   ***DCCCD needs to offer online address changes OR have the front desk specify what the students visit is for and take care of those students with simple transactions FIRST.

RESPONSIBILITY:  Marisa Pierce, VP of Student Services and Enrollment;  Neomi Rodriguez, Manager of Admissions Office


RESPONSE:

My apologies for the long wait time you experienced when visiting the Admissions Office. I appreciate your feedback and plan to use this information to improve our procedures. 

Students/parents who want to speak to a representative but are not signed into the Admissions Office queue is a current concern. I will work with my team and other departments to find a more productive procedure for this situation.

I also understand students use their lunch breaks to take care of business that can only be handled during normal working hours. For that reason, we encourage students to email their demographic changes to registrar-nlc@dcccd.edu. Your request should be processed within two business days. Hopefully, this can save you time in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further problems or other concerns.

3. CONCERN:

On April 18 around 1:00 p.m. there was an extremely strong smell of ether in the hallway outside the Organic Lab. If proper safety procedures are being followed, ether fumes should not be filling the lab much less the hallway. I observed that the instructor was not in the lab monitoring the students for more than 10 minutes.

It is my understanding this is not the first time this instructor has been warned about proper safety procedures. It is not the first time other instructors and staff have complained about safety violations. Allowing students, faculty and staff to be exposed to ether is a very serious safety issue. You should also investigate the issue of a heavy metal being poured down the drain during another organic lab this semester.

A thorough investigation into this instructor's lab safety violations needs to be started. The health of the students and staff and faculty is being put at risk.

RESPONSIBILITY: 

Shawnda Floyd, VP of Academic Affairs; Matthew Dempsey, Executive Dean of Math and Science

RESPONSE:

We have already initiated an all CHEM meeting to discuss lab procedures and safety. There are no experiments with anhydrous ether in this semester, so timing is not pressing.  We met with our entire full-time staff in CHEM and we have addressed the issue of the ether smell.  Practices of safety are consistent with state and vendor law.  We have put all full-time faculty on notice that they are to review lab safety. For any other concerns, you can contact the Math & Science Department at 972-273-3500.

4. CONCERN:

I am concerned that my professor still hasn't updated grades and we have passed the drop date for this term.

I'm in an EDUC class. I have 9 assignments in the grade book that do not have a grade. Going all the way back to February 2nd. All assignments were turned in on time. I have seen this professor on campus several times but still not update on my grades. I just want to know if I am doing well in this class or not.

RESPONSIBILITY:

Shawnda Floyd, VP of Academic Affairs; Kristopher Copeland, Executive Dean Liberal Arts

RESPONSE:

Thank you for sending us your concern. This is the first time we have received communication regarding lack of grades for EDUC 2301.  The Liberal Arts division follows the following protocol for student complaints/issues:

1. We ask the student to set up a conference during the professor's office hours to discuss the matter.

2. If the issue is not resolved after the meeting with the professor, the student should make an appointment to speak to the Executive Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Kristopher Copeland at 972-273-3482 or kristophercopeland@dcccd.edu.

3. Dr. Kristopher investigates the issue to work towards resolution.

We are getting in touch with the instructor to relay the concern. An opportunity to investigate this further would be helpful and would be beneficial for the student and the instructional division.

5. CONCERN:

I want to say that they writing lab is not doing their job!! Science and math center you get in, the tutor will love to help you, but in the writing center they make you wait, even if nobody is inline, and four tutors will sitting there. You have to wait 30-60 minutes, even if no one is there. As soon as the 30 minutes is up they will kick you out even if they are not finished helping you. We are coming for learning, we paid the tuition! We hope the service is really in service!! Not just sitting down and getting the pay. The boss of the writing center should change the rules there, give a chance to let these people study. The front desk girls never smile they just tell you to sit down and wait.

RESPONSIBILITY:

Shawnda Floyd, VP of Academic Affairs; Kristopher Copeland, Executive Dean
Liberal Arts

RESPONSE:

Thank you for the feedback regarding the writing center in the Academic Success Center. To reduce wait times, it is suggested to book appointments rather than arrive as a walk-in. All tutors see appointments first. In the event an appointment doesn't show, then a walk-in student is helped. However, as a courtesy we wait up to 10 minutes to allow for appointments.

Additionally, 30 minute appointments are set as we find that is the average time a student needs for tutoring, and it allows for us to accommodate all students. In the event a student feels he or she needs more time, then the student is encouraged to book another appointment. There are peak times in the semester when the schedule is booked solid. We are working with the ASC staff and faculty volunteers to increase the number of slots we have for tutoring purposes.

Finally, thank you for pointing out issues with customer service. We will address this with our front office staff. For any additional questions or concerns please contact the Executive Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Kristopher Copeland at 972-273-3482 or kristophercopeland@dcccd.edu. Dr. Kristopher investigates the issue to work towards resolution.