University creates wiki for selected students’ feedback

“Help us improve Temple!” reads the top of a new Web site that is giving students the chance to voice their opinions on Temple related issues.

University officials and faculty members have recently launched a new initiative to give students a voice to help improve communications and different aspects of the university.

The university has a goal to create Temple’s first academic strategic plan covering all aspects of college life.

This plan created nine subcommittees. One of the subcommittees, “Enabling the Bureaucracy to Serve the Academic Mission,” has a specific goal of “examining processes at Temple that need to be strengthened,” said Renee Hobbs, a member of the committee and a BTMM professor.

The wiki site addresses a number of topics including campus dining, communication, technology and admissions.

Most students have never heard of this Web site because only a few select students were nominated by professors to get involved in the initiative to give feedback, Hobbs said.

“We decided to try this Web site out on a smaller scale first to decide whether a public site for all Temple students is a useful tool to improve the quality of the university,” Hobbs said.

“It needs to be small, because it’s just an experiment,” geology professor Laura Toran said.

“While some students’ problems are very specific, we might find patterns to help address issues. I hope the administration will value an open forum, but some feel that it’s dangerous to let students share their problems,” Hobbs said.

Toran said she had some issues with the site.

“My problem with it is that students want us to fix their problems, but that’s not what this committee is here for. These findings are to help us out in the long term. It breaks my heart to read their stories,” she said.

Toran said that another initiative will take place this week inviting certain students to sit down face-to-face with administrators and faculty to have an open discussion.

“This is a better way to get data,” Toran said, “This method uses two-way communication whereas the wiki site is one-way.”

Freshman public relations major Dan Suraci was nominated by one of his professors to participate in the forum.
“I wanted to post my opinions, because it is important for us as students to both acknowledge the great things about Temple and point out those few areas that could use improvement,” Suraci said.

He said he hopes that Temple will take the results of this Web site to heart.

The site will remain online until the middle of March when members of the committee will write up a report citing their findings from this experiment.

“We are going to make Temple better, and that’s fun to be involved

with,” Toran said. “We want to be a university that empowers people.”

Jessica Lawlor can be reached at

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