Staff writer, Prya Oliveira
Finding the perfect college is difficult, especially because you never know what to expect. There are so many factors in choosing the right college, such the environment and the type of opportunities that would be offered. It is very helpful to hear current students talk about their experiences and what they like and dislike. Saint Martin’s University has a variety of different people in attendance, ranging from commuters to veterans, to international students and Washington natives. Hearing what people have to say about Saint Martin’s will give others better insight on how this institution really works.
I went around campus and interviewed different types of students at Saint Martin’s and asked them, “What do you like about Saint Martin’s University, and what would you like to see change?” Kaitlyn Slade, a nontraditional student responded, “I like that SMU provides different opportunities for all types of people. From traditional, nontraditional, veterans, active military, international, and more there’s always some type of opportunity, whether it’s a job or academic wise. Something I’d like to see change is to bridge the gap between traditional and nontraditional students, as not many even know how to define a nontraditional student. Through my campaign to be ASSMU Senator of Nontraditional Students, I plan to create events that bind the traditional and nontraditional students to come together, bond, and hear each other’s stories.” Slade has a very inspirational story. She recently gave birth, and throughout her pregnancy, continued to go to school. She took the fall semester off, but is back to pursue her education and graduate next year with her civil engineering degree.
For the perspective of a student athlete, I interviewed Marissa Miller on the women’s basketball team; “I like SMU because it is a small community. You get to meet and know a lot of different people and it’s cool to see them around campus or class and in stands during basketball games, supporting you and your team. Maybe SMU could promote women sporting events more to try to increase the number in attendance because it’s always fun to play in front of a crowd. As athletes, we all feed off of the energy and environment.” It is difficult for student athletes to balance both roles; therefore, it’s important to get a little insight of what they have to say about the college too.
Drew Arnold, a Pacific Islander whose home is very different from Lacey, Wash., said, “I like the fact that there are a lot of islanders. As an islander, there is a sense of comfort when there are people of your kind. I also like the fact that there are certain clubs that can accommodate your needs. Lastly, I like the fact that the teacher and student relationships are better than other colleges, in my opinion. I want things to change on the financial level. I want them to understand and help to accommodate those who are in need of help on financial aid.” With the growing number of islanders who attend Saint Martin’s, and those who are coming to Saint Martin’s next year, it seems as though this school has been doing a good job at making people feel comfortable away from home.
I also talked to a traditional student, Faith McConnaughey. She says, “I like that SMU is a small school and a small community. Where you walk somewhere, you will always see a familiar friendly face. I also like that the class sizes are small, so you can get a more one on one experience with the professors and you can ask questions when you need to.” She then goes on to say, “I would change the menu in the cafeteria to make it more inclusive for people who have dietary restrictions such as gluten allergies, more healthy options, and a bigger variety of food at dinner.”
There are many commuter students here at SMU, and I chose to interview Andrew Garcia. He said that some changes he’d want to see implemented include, “a student union building where all student resources are conveniently placed. This would include offices such as campus life, financial aid, career services, campus ministry, counseling and wellness services, and other resources. If they’re conveniently located, it will encourage more students to use these resources while simultaneously gaining exposure for the offices.”
Although this does not cover all of the opinions about Saint Martin’s and what needs to be changed, it’s always important to listen to people who have different roles on this campus. Many do agree that this is a great college, but there are changes that still need to be paid attention to, especially with the growing number of attendees.