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The Captain's Log

The Captain's Log

The Student News Site of Christopher Newport University

The Captain's Log

The Captain's Log

President Kelly attends Student Government Association’s student listening session

An open discussion for all students
CNU President Kelly talked with students at SGA’s listening session Monday, Nov. 6, photo by Alex Noth

On Monday, President William Kelly offered Christopher Newport University students the chance to voice their concerns about campus life. The event was organized by the Student Government Association and was promoted as a listening session.

“Having opportunities like this is exactly what we’re supposed to do in an environment like this one so that I can demonstrate for our students and others what I believe good leaders do,” Kelly told The Captain’s Log.

SGA President Kate Bennett, who headed the event, was impressed by the students at the event and how professional they were.

“I think everybody had really great comments and honestly made me really proud to be a Captain,” she said.

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One of the concerns discussed at the listening session was the effects of the pandemic on students and how it is playing a role in their experiences at CNU. One student said that most students from the class of 2027 and 2026 were struggling with academic probation which leads to a 14 hour credit limit. This 14 hour credit limit prevents a student from registering for classes on time which could end up leading to not graduating on time.

Another key concern voiced by a student was the lack of diversity on campus. They went on to elaborate that they did not see much racial diversity on campus, nor did they see many students from the 757 community.

Kelly acknowledged this concern by noting that his goal is to build bridges between CNU and the local community. He added that the lack of diversity on campus was an issue, as 44% of the population of the 757 is African-American. 

CNU student Patrick Lassiter told The Captain’s Log that he wanted to hear “a little bit more” on the topic of diversity.

“I feel like besides promoting a certain image of a Captain, we need to promote the Captains of color or Captains that are African-American to show other people in this area that this could be you,” Lassiter said. 

Another concern the students had was the safety of RAs (Residential Assistants), specifically, their mental health. One RA brought up how uncomfortable she was when knocking on the door of a loud suite consisting of four people. They also added that someone should follow up with the RA after incidents that could affect their ability to do their job.

The colors around campus was another point that was brought up during the event as some students wanted to see more of CNUs colors represented throughout the school. One student expressed their belief that an outsider could leave a campus visit not knowing what the colors of CNU are or what the mascot is. Following the event, Kelly acknowledged this concern.

“There’s some color schemes on campus that we can definitely work on,” Kelly said when asked if any comment from the evening stood out to him.

This related to another student’s concern about how CNU could be promoted better to both local, in-state, and out-of-state students. Kelly said in his response that he believed every student was the best recruiter on campus and that he had discussed resources with the director of admissions earlier that day. With 1,160 students admitted in this past academic year, Kelly said that the goal was to have 1,200 admitted students over the next academic year.

Matthew Conner, a student at the event, appreciated that Kelly addressed students’ concerns, even if he did not have a full answer to some of them.

“[It was] one step towards making some kind of difference on campus.” Conner said.


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Trey Greenwell, Sports Editor
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