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Upcoming enrollment plan focuses on issues relating to students

NIU to create a new Strategic Enrollment Plan to reflect COVID-19.

Northern Star file photo

The Holmes Student Center is a popular spot for students to relax and hangout. With restaurants, bowling and more, there is something for everyone.

DeKALB ― Earlier this month, the Student Government Association shared feedback with NIU’s Vice President of Enrollment and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on a new Strategic Enrollment Plan.

The five-year Strategic Enrollment Planwhich NIU initially created in 2019, acts as a guide for recruiting and retaining students.

In talks for a renewed plan, senators from the Student Government Association were able to share their concerns and represent real issues that students face.

With the new enrollment plan, NIU’s mission statement and goals will be updated to include goals regarding multiple issues on campus. The plan will also allegedly take the feedback from SGA senators into account.

“(University officials) came to SGA to receive feedback,” said Dallas Douglass, the Speaker of the Senate for the Student Government Association. “As representatives for the student body, it’s our job (to represent student issues).”

SGA senators were given a list of questions to give feedback on, Douglass said.

“They wanted to know about the barriers to student success, what students are experiencing, how to help students acclimate and what NIU should be doing,” Douglass said.

Discussion of the new enrollment plan covered several aspects of student and campus life.

“Senators represent a plethora of communities on campus, so we had a lot of different concerns,” Douglass said. The concerns of senators range from supporting students of diverse backgrounds to revitalizing Greek life.

While the new plan will still focus on the recruitment and retention of students, Vice President of Enrollment Sol Jensen said in the Feb. 6 SGA Senate meeting that the new Student Enrollment Plan should be updated to include COVID-19-related situations.

Jensen reiterated that gathering information on how to improve campus life is important.

The current enrollment plan, which expires in 2023, focuses largely on furthering recruitment efforts across diverse student populations. These populations include ethnic, racial and first-year students.

Douglass said, the Feb. 6 Senate meeting included discussion about academic and attendance policies, student employment, campus dining, how to better integrate student athletes and students in Greek life, as well as several other student-related topics.

While the focus of the new plan is mainly on students and issues related to students, the plan also outlines campus-wide problems, including picking up trash and making campus look nicer. University officials also mentioned the need to make information about university and campus resources more accessible.

Currently, information about campus resources, clubs, classes and degree requirements are spread out across multiple platforms, including NIU’s website, PresenceBlackboard and Navigate Studentwhich was recently rolled out.

“When the university comes up with policies like this, it (really serves as) a mission statement or guiding principle,” Douglass said.

There is currently no official date for when the new plan will be put into motion, however, the current enrollment plan is only supposed to be in effect until 2023.

Sol Jensen could not be reached for comment.

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