Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Raymond Baccari and Daniel Costa
News Editor and Asst. News Editor
PROVIDENCE, R.I., — The primary focus of last week’s Student Community Government parliament meeting revolved around Rhode Island College’s accreditation review from the New England Commission of Higher Education. Dr. Patrice Mettauer, RIC’s Director of Academic Initiatives, attended the meeting to explain the importance of this process to the college, saying, “So the accreditation process is extraordinarily important because it’s a process that [starts] at the federal level. There is a commission that oversees higher education, and there are regional groups. So ours is the regional New England Commission of Higher Education.”
Mettauer continued, “And what that commission does is to assure the public of the quality of [RIC’s] academic programs, the viability of the institution and the reassurance that we are going to continue into the future. This is critical for students because you want to know that there is value to your degree.”
Mettauer noted that a part of the re-accreditation process is for RIC to have a self-evaluation of itself and create a self-study report. The self-evaluation process asks the college to list its strengths and weaknesses.
She cited some of the strengths of RIC are the diversity of the college’s students, improvement of facilities and the quality of its academic programs. “Just in the last six years alone we completely renovated two of our academic buildings,” said Mettauer. “We know students are having success here and certainly when they are done here.” Mettauer revealed when listing RIC’s strengths that 25% of the student body is Hispanic, qualifying the college for grants and garnering the status as an Hispanic-Serving Institution.
Some of the areas of improvement she listed are addressing the lack of diversity in the college’s faculty and staff and declining enrollment. “Another area we need to do some work is stabilizing our institution. Our enrollments have been dropping.” The self-study report conducted by the college can be viewed here and more information about the process itself can be found by visiting here.
To clear up any confusion from the last meeting since it initially appeared that they were resigning, Brynn Terry, Patrick Gibb and Aiden Meservy are deciding to remain as SCG at-large Parliament Representatives.
The class-runoff and SCG Executive Board elections were another main focus of the meeting. Vice President Daisy Tran reminded those in attendance about the upcoming class run-off elections. The run-off elections will take place on Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Donovan Dining Center; Executive Board elections are taking place during the next parliament meeting later that night.
SCG originally planned to hold their declaration for the Executive Board elections on Oct. 27, but postponed them when a power outage cancelled all student organizations’ meetings. The declaration period was moved to this meeting. In the next meeting, SCG’s parliament will vote to fill their Secretary, Treasurer, Speaker and Deputy Speaker positions.