Students braved the microphone today to ask university President Dr. Bob Fisher and key faculty members questions during the second Ask Dr. Fisher convocation that has occurred this semester.
The convocation started off with the clarification of the new smokeless tobacco policy, which had recently been updated in the Bruin Guide.
After student Austin Mercuri expressed concern that the smokeless tobacco ‘e-cigarettes’ were not harmful to inhale, Fisher explained that even though the ‘e-cigarettes’ may not be harmful to inhale, it promotes the use of nicotine and that goes against the school’s tobacco-free campus motto.
“We don’t ban students from using tobacco products, we just ban the use of tobacco on campus,” said Fisher.
Several other faculty members stood up to defend the new clarification, including Greg Pillon, director of communications, who apologized for the miscommunication last Friday when the clarification was published.
Practice hours in on-campus housing were also addressed from a student who wished to extend the hours that students can practice their instruments in the dorms and on-campus apartments.
Skyler Schmanski, the new student body vice president, invited students to express practice hour concerns to the student government, and that more practice rooms are underway for next fall.
Student concerns are also being considered when it comes to what the Wheeler and Hitch buildings will be used for after the Wedgewood Academic Center is finished this summer.
Suggestions included more practice rooms, a pool hall or to just knock the buildings down to create more lawn space.
Like the Ask Dr. Fisher earlier this semester, the convocation turned to students expressing interest in the growing population of Belmont.
“Belmont will never be a 20,000 or 30,000 university. We just don’t have the space to accommodate that population,” said Fisher, explaining that the university did not have a population they were trying to attain, but that having 7,000 undergraduate students next year is an exciting prospect.
Fisher made his priority perfectly clear, both through creating these convo sessions and through his hopes for Belmont as a whole.
“Although our Vision 2020 may seem like it’s just campus changes, our absolute number one priority is the students. They are the center of all the changes here at Belmont,” said Fisher.