Founders College hosts first in a series of College Town Halls on LA&PS Colleges Re-Visioning

How can York University’s colleges better serve the needs of their students? How can the colleges better serve their broader communities of staff, faculty, Fellows and alumni? How can the relationships between colleges and their affiliated programs be strengthened and enhanced? In order to better serve their respective college communities, how can the colleges better utilize their exterior and interior spaces?

These questions will be addressed during the community consultations for re-visioning the colleges within the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS).

LA&PS launched its Colleges Re-Visioning initiative on Dec. 6 at an open town hall, the first of a series of public consultations. The Colleges Re-Visioning initiative is premised on an open, deliberative community consultation process to allow all those who are affiliated with Founders, McLaughlin, Vanier or New Colleges to provide their views, ideas, thoughts and reflections on what the new vision should be for these four colleges in their Faculty.

To facilitate this process a new interactive website was launched in December 2018 that provides students, as well as faculty, staff, Fellows and alumni, with an opportunity to have their voices included in shaping a new vision for the LA&PS colleges.

This website contains a feedback form so York University community members can share comments and thoughts online, on what the new vision for the LA&PS colleges should be, in addition to the in-person town halls. All online website submissions are welcomed and will be gratefully accepted. If community members so choose, the feedback form can be submitted anonymously.

There is also a designated email address, lapscolleges@yorku.ca, where anyone can submit their messages regarding the Colleges Re-Visioning. The College Heads who have been tasked to lead the LA&PS Colleges Re-Visioning – Professors Pablo Idahosa, Founders College, and James C. Simeon, McLaughlin College – heard at the first open community consultation that a variety of methods should be employed to provide the broader college communities with multiple opportunities for their input in the development of a new vision for the LA&PS colleges, including: town halls; focus groups; stakeholders meetings; surveys/questionnaires; and, the use of the latest communications techniques as well as social media. An interactive website for the LA&PS Colleges Re-Visioning was also recommended, and, as noted above, is now available to all.

Integral to the Colleges Re-Visioning will be a series of four town hall meetings, one hosted at each of the four LA&PS colleges. The meetings will be held once a month, starting with the Founders College Town Hall meeting that will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Founders College Senior Common Room, 305 Founders College.

Each of the college town halls will try to address an important topic that all four LA&PS colleges need to contend with. Although each of the college town halls will be thematically based, they will not be limited to trying to deal with thematic issues that will be addressed at the town hall, but any other issues that the participants wish to raise. For instance, Founders College’s theme for their town hall will be how the colleges use their physical space resources, both internal and external, to fulfill their central purpose, which is to provide students with the best higher educational experience possible.

Idahosa underscored the importance of the utilization the colleges’ physical space by noting, “Our colleges are the hubs of various activities that are so essential to student life at York University, whether it is for the intellectual development and growth of our students or the provision of a wide range of extracurricular, including, athletic and social, activities in their ongoing personal maturity and realization as creative self-actualizing persons. Each of our colleges has its own set of unique physical attributes and capacities and how our colleges use their space, either singly or in combination, is crucial to ensuring that we are able to offer our students, and their broader college communities, with the right environment to thrive as they successful complete their programs of studies.”

The McLaughlin College Town Hall will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the McLaughlin College Junior Common Room, 014 McLaughlin College. It will focus on the use of the latest communications technologies, including, social media, to stay in contact with their broader community members and provide them with alternative ways for accessing all of the colleges’ services for their members.

The Vanier College Town Hall will be held on Wednesday, March 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Vanier College Renaissance Room, 001 Vanier College. The aim of this town hall will be to try to address the question of how best to enhance each of the colleges’ relationship with their affiliated programs and their respective departments and schools. This is a vital question for the better coordination of the delivery of the respective degree, diploma, and certificate programs with the services offered to the students at the colleges to ensure the most effective and efficient delivery of Faculty programs and the colleges’ support and services to their students.

The New College Town Hall will be held on Wednesday, April 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. in New College’s Harry Crowe Room, 109 Atkinson. This town hall will be centered on the enhancement of the provision of the support services provided by each of the four colleges to their broader college communities and, especially, their students.

“These college town halls will be a critical element for our open, deliberative community consultations in helping to shape a new vision for our LA&PS colleges,” said Idahosa.

“We hope everyone takes the opportunity to enter the ‘debate, discussion, and dialogue’ that will lead to a new vision for our four LA&PS colleges. This is our future and we want everyone’s say in what our colleges’ future vision ought to be. We very much look forward to seeing you at our college town halls over this Winter Term,” said Simeon.

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