Editorial: Why students need to care about strategic planning

This past week, Muhlenberg’s Strategic Planning Group (SPG) held its third community engagement event. According to Dr. Kathy Harring, about 90 students were registered to come, along with the 20 members of the SPG.

Everyone there was impressed with the turnout, but in all honesty more students should have been there, especially considering how heavily the system relies on feedback from the students. Knowing the changes suggested and fostered by the system won’t be put in place until maybe five to ten years from now may seem discouraging to students, as they won’t be able to see progress made before they graduate, but helping future generations of Mules and seeing your alma mater improve should count for something, right?

Strategic planning is not, as both Harring and President Williams have emphasized, a laundry list or a wish list. It is a list of goals the College wants to achieve to better fit a competitive, ever-changing world. For example, in a previous article on strategic planning published by The Weekly, Ken Butler explained that the New Science Building came out of the last strategic plan under President Helm:

“As I understand it, that planning group…gathered from our peer institutions that our science facilities were out of date compared to our peers, and needed to be modernized so that our out- standing science faculty would have labs and work spaces that would allow them to teach more effectively and carry out their research.”

In other words, these meetings don’t just lead to a dead end. The results of this committee and the impact of the students who offer their input will affect countless future generations of Mules.

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