EDITORIAL: Voisin the right choice for VP of student affairs
After 27 years of involvement in student affairs on CMU’s campus, it seems natural that Anthony Voisin was named assistant vice president of student affairs Wednesday.
Voisin has been a residence hall director, assistant director of student life, director of student life and, most recently, served as interim dean of students.
He’s known on campus and has been around long enough to understand CMU and what it’s all about. In his new position, he will be in charge of the Counseling Center, the Office of Student Life, the Leadership Institute, Student Disability Services and the Volunteer Center. He will also give day-to-day guidance for residence halls.
Now that he’s been appointed, it’s time to discuss what he needs to do with the position.
During his candidate forum earlier this month, Voisin called on CMU to improve the student retention rate. According to updated numbers, CMU’s one-year retention rate dropped 0.4 percent from last year and 1.9 percent for its two-year retention rate. Couple with that the university’s declining enrollment, especially among freshman, and there’s some work to be done.
Making CMU a comfortable and inviting place to be as a student should be Voisin’s first and foremost priority. When students enjoy their time here, they are more likely to succeed — and, more importantly — stay here. Voisin has the resume to back it up, and now that he’s been given the ‘all-green’ to map out goals and a vision for the office, it will be his time to shine.
At the same time, there are a few concerns we’d like to address.
First is the treatment of international students, something we wrote about extensively in CM Life earlier this semester. While we realize all international students might not experience some of the horror stories our reporter found, it is apparent that problems still arise. We would like to see Voisin step in and improve communications and organization within the International Affairs office. Students who come to the U.S. to study at CMU should not have right into nightmares right off the bat.
No. 2 is improving relations with non-traditional students and those with disabilities. We’ve heard gripes from older students in the past about not feeling welcomed in the CMU campus culture. And while it probably happens, university officials, starting with those in the Student Affairs office, should be going out of their way to make sure they feel comfortable.
And Voisin, who’s approaching his third decade at CMU now, can be that difference.
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