Sacred Heart University’s Student Government is hosting a Town Hall meeting with university President Dr. John Petillo on Thursday, Sept. 29. The meeting will start at 5 p.m. and will be held in the NC Auditorium of the Main Academic Building.
Petillo will answer student-asked questions and will take additional questions towards the end throughout a live Q&A session. The event will provide updates for the academic year, along with addressing any questions, comments, or concerns from students and/or faculty.
Although this is the first Town Hall meeting with Dr. Petillo, this is not the first time students are able to get their voice heard. The primary goal of Gabriella Orlando, Director of Student Relations, is to hear out students’ comments or concerns, and while addressing them, ensure that all students’ opinions are accounted for.
“As the Director of Student Relations, I work closely with students and their questions and concerns. We created QR codes for students to scan and submit questions throughout the year, which is still live today! My major focus, as stated in my campaign, is to have the student body heard, and I will do all in my ability to make that happen,” said Orlando.
Orlando explained that she believes it is critical for a University President to have open lines of communication with their campus community to keep students and faculty aware of any new policies or changes that will be taking affect. Orlando believes this will be a perfect opportunity for both students and faculty to engage in conversation on various topics within the Sacred Heart community.
Student Government Class of 2023 President Olivia Larosa mentioned she is hopeful that the event will cover a wide range of topics that students want to see changes to or gain more insight on.
Larosa said that issues that she would like to see addressed throughout the discussion are about parking on campus, the dining hall hours, and what the goals in terms of campus expansion are for this year.
“I feel as though Student Government Senate has always given the chance for me to ask questions, but this structure is the first time I will directly be able to hear from Dr. P and ask questions in such a format,” said Larosa.
Other SHU students expressed a similar interest in discussing campus parking at this meeting.
“I wish the topic of parking will be heard at this meeting because as a commuter it can be very frustrating trying to find parking on campus and attend classes on time,” said senior Ashley Arcidiacono.
Although Arcidiacono has personally never chosen to share her feelings regarding campus issues such as this one, she is hoping it will be addressed by her fellow commuter students.
Dr. Petillo has many positive aspirations for this meeting, all of which include the attendance and participation of the Sacred Heart community.
“I would first hope that there would be a diverse turnout with students, and as a result of that, that students would be sensitive to the needs, issues and concerns of other students,” said Petillo.
Petillo continued by saying that the campus community should consist of a mutual interest in focusing on what Sacred Heart is about and how they can make improvements, all as part of getting through things together as a community.
“I think from my perspective presence is important. It’s important that students feel comfortable that they can approach not only the President, but other administrators and faculty,” said Petillo.