The Student Quality Advisory Committee (SQAC) meets twice per quarter to discuss issues pertaining to students. Jessica Tam – Mustang Daily

The Student Quality Advisory Committee (SQAC) held its first meeting of the year to discuss any concerns within the student population on Nov. 9 at the Sandwich Factory.

SQAC is an open forum aimed to discover what students need in order to succeed. SQAC coordinator Maddy French said this committee is directed at sharing campus concerns and to discover what is vital for students to make their college experience the most beneficial.

“It’s a way to connect with students informally and find out what is important to students,” French said. “Basically, (we’re here to) help students on-campus, find out what’s happening on-campus and addressing questions students may have.”

The club strives for student quality — how life is viewed on and off-campus and what things can be done to assist in any way possible. Dean of Students for Student Affairs Jean DeCosta finds student involvement to be crucial to improve Cal Poly.

“My interest is hearing from students regarding concerns, issues, problems, even things that go well,” DeCosta said at the meeting. “This is an opportunity for us to get to know (students) and to decide whether there are areas of concern.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Cornel Morton said representation aids the development in making the university exceptional for students.

“The more opportunity we have in the administration to learn about what students are interested in and what students consider important, the better,” Morton said. “That’s why we have college council: ASI, SQAC (and) Poly Ambassador. If SQAC persists, it will persist because students want it to persist. We want to make this work.”

In regards to its members, SQAC participation is selective. The club is based on either invitation or nomination.

“In terms of its structure, SQAC is probably not going to grow to be a 50 member group; it’s not that kind of group,” Morton said. “It’s going to be less than a dozen students (but) that’s not because we’re saying, ‘Don’t come, we don’t want you.’ I think the characteristics of an informal advisory group of this kind is probably going to be more effective if we can focus on particular issues that perhaps a representative body of students bring forward. That doesn’t have to number in the dozens.”

Being student-directed, led and focused, participants of the committee voiced several topics of concern at the meeting. Topics discussed included class registration, potential cheating, the availability and ability to enroll into classes and the overall necessity of general education (GE) classes.

GE classes received mixed reviews. Students said GEs can be a good source for students to expand outside of their major, but the student lack of interest for the courses affects the students.

Social sciences senior Michelle Fox said this is a typical trend with students.

“(GE classes) force teachers to deal with GE kids (who) aren’t there to learn about their major, so there isn’t in-depth discussion,” Fox said. “Kids who are interested in going further are not benefiting from it at all.”

Some students, however, are forced to take classes because of unit requirement or for electives. This means students may be less interested in the subjects.

“People should get into classes that they are interested in,” Fox said. “(For example), if I have to take a D3 and I know that I want to take this class but I don’t get into it, I have to settle for something else. I’m not going to be as excited (for it compared to) that one class I could have had.”

Business administration senior Robin Garcia also said it has to do with the student’s attitude.

“I think it depends on your approach as a student as well,” Garcia said. “With maturity comes more respect for teachers. You may realize that it’s all connected, even though it’s not drawn out for you.”

Regardless, no matter what issues or problems students may deal with, members are glad there is a committee where they are comfortable enough to voice their opinions.

“I think (the SQAC) is great. I’m glad I could give back as a fourth year. Our voice is actually being heard; large-scale surveys are not the same,” Garcia said.

SQAC meets twice a quarter for the whole year.

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