Evan Mozingo & Holly Griffin – 1851 Staff
Lasell held a community meeting hosted by President Michael B. Alexander on October 1 in deWitt Hall to talk about the current and future strategic plans for the college. “We do this meeting to see each other, meet each other,” said Alexander. “It’s a bonding experience for the community.”
Alexander reviewed his ambitions for Lasell for the coming years, discussing academic, institutional, and facility goals. Alexander reminded the audience of the college’s strengths and weaknesses, focusing on ways to improve. Lasell’s strengths include its connected learning program, internship opportunities, and dedicated full- time staff, while the institution struggles with the older facilities of Wolfe and Wass, retention rate, and academic rigor.
“Student focus is the highest priority,” Alexander said. Throughout the meeting, he continuously emphasized the importance of bettering the student life at Lasell. When asked about a lack of school spirit, Alexander stated, “ Students are the best experts,” adding school spirit depends on how much students decide to participate.
Students responded, saying there are opportunities to raise school spirit. “If the sports games and events were better advertised, it is likely more people will go,” said sophomore Caitlin Redington.
However, plans to implement Moodle in all classrooms sparked controversy. A faculty member in the audience disagreed with Alexander’s goal, arguing Moodle is more of a nurturing practice rather than providing skills for the students.
Still new to Moodle, freshman Alicia
Dobbyn said, “Moodle is helpful…after you get used to it, it becomes easier.”
Alexander also expressed the idea of joining together with surrounding colleges and providing Moodle through one host. Alexander stressed collaborating with other colleges and organizations for various reasons, such as a joint police force with Mount Ida College to better serve the student body at Lasell. This would allow for a 24/7 surveillance of the college. Additionally, managing health insurance with other colleges allows students to gain ben- efits and a lower cost rate, Alexander said.
Alexander reminded the members of the meeting that these were just ideas, not goals, for Vision 2017.
Other plans involving student life and academics include continuing professional advisors for all first-year students, increasing on-campus jobs by 10 percent, and 24/7 online tech support.
Enrollment was also a noted accom- plishment. “We set a record enrollment again this year, as we’ve been doing fairly consistently in recent years,” said Alexander, referring to the 1,667 total undergraduates Lasell currently enrolled, and 1,800 undergraduates that the college is on pace to meet in coming years.
“It made me proud that we are growing as a college, yet they still want to keep growing and building the school,” said junior Liam Van Keuren who attended Vision 2017. “President Alexander’s way of presenting made me believe what he was saying and gave me confidence in the school’s future.”