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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

President Wood hosts another ‘100 days of listening’ student forum

Students highlight needs and concerns during the second listening town hall
Sacramento+State+President+Luke+Wood+and+Associated+Students+Inc.+President+Nataly+Andrade-Dominguez+listens+to+students+concerns+and+provides+solutions+during+the+second+100+Days+of+Listening+forum+Monday%2C+Oct.+2%2C+2023.+Wood+and+Andrade-Dominguez+opened+the+listening+session+asking+students+why+they+chose+Sac+State+to+pursue+their+degree.
Ariel Caspar
Sacramento State President Luke Wood and Associated Students Inc. President Nataly Andrade-Dominguez listens to students’ concerns and provides solutions during the second “100 Days of Listening” forum Monday, Oct. 2, 2023. Wood and Andrade-Dominguez opened the listening session asking students why they chose Sac State to pursue their degree.

President Luke Wood and Associated Students Inc. held the second of three planned student forums as a part of Wood’s “100 days of listening” to discuss student concerns in the University Union Ballroom on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023.

RELATED: President Luke Wood gleans students’ concerns at ‘100 days of listening’

“My hope is that I’ll hear from students what it is that they want to see,” Wood said. “And then we will use that to essentially guide all of our actions over the next five years.”

One of the recurring themes highlighted was a push to hire more black, indigenous and people of color faculty members to ensure they are reflective of Sacramento State’s student population.

Nataly Andrade-Dominguez, president of ASI, co-hosted the event alongside Wood and listened in on the concerns shared by students. Andrade-Dominguez said she felt the student forum was a productive means of communicating with students who all had something to share.

“Whether it’s one student or 100 students, the fact that students feel like they have a place at the university is really important to me,” Andrade-Dominguez said.

Andrade-Dominguez said that students discussed a variety of issues including campus safety, lighting issues and parking during the first listening session.

“One that really stood out to me was an emotional safety one where a student brought up that she was receiving death threats on campus, she actually transferred out of Sac State,” Andrade-Dominguez said. “I went through a similar situation as her, so it really stuck to me. The university failed her.”

Students attending the event hoped their concerns would serve as priorities for Wood to take note for action.

Jennifer Gomez, is a fourth-year transfer student studying communications and former member of the Armed Forces. Gomez said she had concerns over resources available to veteran students returning to their education, including skills like being able to cite a paper.

“There are certain things that you would think are very elementary and basic,” Gomez said. “But because they’re very elementary and basic, I think it often gets overlooked and students are afraid to ask for help because it is so easy.”

Gomez said it was important to have both presidents sit down at an event to listen to students’ concerns.

“Oftentimes, it’s easy to get discouraged if you feel your voice isn’t being heard,” Gomez said. “It’s really nice to know that this administration is all about taking action where it matters, us, the students.”

Vasiliy Derebenskiy, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, also attended the event and was one of the students asked why they chose Sac State and their campus experiences.

Derebenskiy said he attributed his decision to attend Sac State to the background of the university’s instructors.

“I didn’t choose Sac State because of academics. That was something I learned from community college,” Derebenskiy said. “Our engineering program may not be renowned, but the professors themselves come from a high background.”

Following the conclusion of the three student forums, Wood said he hopes to use the input of the Sac State community to release a draft report around either November or December. He hopes the draft report is finalized in time for his spring address, where the finalized report will be released.

Wood also said he looks forward to the implementation process after these listening tours and continuing to hold listening sessions for the campus population.

“I’m excited to learn and you cannot be effective in these roles unless you’re hearing from the people,” Wood said. “This is not a one-time thing, but an ongoing enterprise.”

Andrade-Dominguez further commented that she is hopeful more students are willing to show up and participate for the final student forum, set to take place on Monday, Oct. 30 from 4-5 p.m. at the University Union Ballroom.

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About the Contributors
Jenn Galinato, News Staffer
(she/her) Jenn Galinato is a fourth-year political science/journalism and international relations double major. She returns to The State Hornet for a second semester as a News staffer for the 2023-2024 term.
Erick Mendoza, News Staffer
(he/him) Erick Mendoza is a fourth year political science-journalism major. He has ambitions of being able to make a difference in his community by bringing valuable information that affects Sac State at large. He one day hopes to work in cybersecurity and will pursue that line of work after he graduates.
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