Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry, has begun holding weekly office hours this semester, dubbed “Conversations with Carry,” in an effort to increase access for students.
“My hope is that students find a value in it, come to it and get some good information, and continue in the fall,” Carry said. “I would like to have a one-day commitment every year to listen to students about anything they want to talk about.”
Last year, students from the Undergraduate Student Government and other student organizations brought up interest in talking to university administrators directly. When the idea of office hours was pitched in the meetings, it received a positive response from students in attendance.
“I wanted to create a date that is super easy for students to schedule time with me,” Carry said. To spark it off, Carry extended invitations to veterans, spring admits, members of greek letter organizations, transfer students, residential advisers, orientation leaders, tour guides, students with disabilities and international students.
So far, Carry has met with some transfer students and commuter students. According to Carry, while they generally expressed their positivity toward the University, some issues were brought up. Commuter students asked questions about places to store items for the rest of the day. The transfer students talked about the challenges around articulation agreements, with regard to transferring as many credit hours as possible from their previous institutions. Carry hopes to hear more opinions from students and wants to encourage other members of his administration to do the same.
“I would like to expand it and ask my staff to think about adding a day in which all they do is to listen to students,” Carry said. “We do attend many student meetings and meet a lot of student leaders and organizations; however, what if we created a full day when we meet with other regular students who have a tight schedule and cannot serve on student organizations?”
With his office hours, Carry hopes to increase transparency between the administration and the student body.
“I want to reduce any barriers between the University’s administration and students,” Carry said. “As my core responsibility is to students, I want to make the university’s administration acceptable to students.”
Carry chiefly wants to listen to the current successes, issues that require improvements and trending topics among the student body in order to ensure that the university’s administration stays connected to the student body.
“I wish to make sure I can reflect students’ interests appropriately to my colleagues in senior administrations,” Carry said.
Carry’s office is open to students on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. His office is STU 201, located on the second floor of the Student Union. Both undergraduate and graduate students can sign up for office hours. Students can schedule an appointment with Carry online by filling out a sign-up form, emailing his office or walking in. Students may come individually or in small groups to talk about any topic they want for the duration of their appointment, which lasts about 30 minutes.
“The best way to do it would be to schedule it. You might have to wait extra time if you just drop in; however, if you are just in the area and decide to walk in, I would love to talk about anything,” Carry said.