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Student voices are vital at the upcoming RIC town hall

Tyler Jackman

Opinions Editor

Flyer via Student Community Government Inc.

Rhode Island College President, Dr. Jack Warner is hosting a town hall on Wednesday open to all students. This town hall will run from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

Sponsored by Student Community Government Inc., this town hall will feature a wide-ranging discussion on the state of affairs with the college, as well as an open forum for students to share their thoughts on the state of the school.

Attending a postsecondary institution, it is commonplace for students to feel apathetic in their abilities to affect change in the operations of their college. Opportunities such as this forum, in fact, are now more necessary and paramount than ever. As RIC emerges from the post-COVID environment and struggles to find its footing, students will find no greater moment to influence the future of the college for the future and beyond.

Now more than ever, the voice of students is needed to guide the school past the struggles of its post-pandemic recovery. Coming out of the pandemic, RIC has found itself between a rock and a hard place in regards to student enrollment. As COVID-19 forced students online, many decided to stay in the workforce for the immediate money flow, and others have simply lost the viewpoint that college degrees still carry an intrinsic value.

In a previous analysis for The Anchor, I examined the multitude of interconnected reasons why enrollment at RIC has been shrinking compared to other Rhode Island institutions of higher education. Isabella Santoro, our Photography Editor at The Anchor, also took to task the issue of RIC’s declining enrollment numbers.

Between these two analyses, we find common ground on the impact of college tuition, as well as the time and effort required to achieve a college degree. In a post-pandemic environment, it has increasingly become a struggle for millennial and Generation Z students to balance their needs for liveable income against the thousands of dollars in debt and hundreds of hours of time a college education demands.

As colleges returned to conventional on-campus operations, many institutions urged a rapid return to the “normal” of years before. The “normal” of before, however, still did not answer the urgent crises of student debt and the seemingly declining value of college degrees against a struggling economy rife with hiring freezes and career entry barriers. To create a future in which RIC can return to its affordable, valuable and meritorious nature, the perspective of its student body is vital.

The true and definitive answer of how to repair RIC’s enrollment woes and operations is up to open debate. There is no doubt that this debate calls for an extensive and all-inclusive roundtable of different perspectives from the student body. Whether you praise RIC’s dedicated professors, criticize its class selection, have thoughts on the college’s on-campus housing or anything beyond, the voice of students in shaping the role the school will fill for years ahead is more critical now than anytime before.

To attend this town hall all, any RIC student can RSVP for a free ticket here.


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