BY LEXI WACKER | The Statesman “The practice rooms on the first floor of Humanities are super small, outdated and hot.” This is what one student said on WTF UMD. Or, in other words, What To Fix, UMD.
What To Fix is a place for students to post any suggestions they might have for many diverse things such as campus policies, teaching ideas and a variety of other issues. The Student Association first implemented What To Fix last May with hopes of giving UMD students an outlet to express their ideas when it comes to the environment on campus.
Cody Brumbaugh is the vice president of student life for the Student Association. All of the posts from What To Fix are looked at by his committee for things like the feasibility of the request, how many people have made that request and how relevant it is to the students. From there Brumbaugh brings up the suggestions at congress where it gets voted on. Once a suggestion has been passed, the committee goes out to find the faculty involved with that issue to develop a plan.
What To Fix can be found on Facebook under “WTF UMD” and anonymous submissions are available by using the ask.fm feature. Having this service available on a social media site makes it possible for students to give their honest ideas and to get timely feedback from the Student Association about the progress of their requests.
Kalley Erickson, the congressional vice chair and vice chair of public relations at the Student Association, has worked with What To Fix since it was implemented.
“Since the Student Association is the voice of the students, we really needed to give the students a tool to have their voices heard instead of just sending an email to their professor or going to the wrong person,” Erickson said.
Sophomore Holly Gebel also sees the appeal of reaching the right people without having to go out of her way or out of her comfort zone.
“Because I am an introvert it is really hard for me to go talk to people,” she said. “It would be a good way to easily get my views across to the right people.”
The Student Association received compelling feedback last year through What To Fix, according to Elise Viger, public relations director. But while What To Fix has produced strong results in the past, it seems to be going unnoticed by students so far this year.
“It hasn’t been as used so far this year,” Viger said. “We have been doing a lot of little campaigns to show students where they can go when they have a suggestion.”
KeAnna Kimbllin is a senior at UMD this year who had not heard of What To Fix until recently. Kimbllin said What To Fix is something she would have used if had it been around when she was a freshman.
“Maybe more broadcasting would help get it out, or even an email,” Kimbllin said. “If it can help incoming students in any way it will be great for years to come.”
Some students have made suggestions through the Facebook page for a variety of issues, the most common being those about parking and the food available on campus.
“If I were to fix one thing at UMD it would be parking,” posted one student anonymously. “I hate paying $200 for a maroon parking pass to not even be guaranteed a spot.”
All submissions are welcomed and encouraged by the Student Association to help make the voices of UMD heard. “Ultimately we just want to improve student life, staff life and faculty life,” Erickson said.