By Paula Vasquez
On Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Brookhaven College President Dr. Thom Chesney will be giving up the privacy and comforts of his office for a black mesh office chair at the S Building welcoming center.
He won’t be there just helping students find the admissions office, however.
Victor Batres, President of Phi Theta Kappa, said the idea came from the interaction between PTK students and Chesney.
Batres thought a “Meet the President Day” would bring productive feed- back. Batres said the event is an opportunity for the president to hear concerns and suggestions and for students to inter- act with him.
This event will be close to a typical day for Chesney. He will be doing everything he normally would. However, he will not be behind the doors of his office.
Chesney will be at the heart of Brookhaven, accessible to all voices, the early birds and the night owls. Even during a 10-minute break between their classes, students can get to know the president.
Batres said Chesney is “very friendly and open minded. He is dedicated to the students and will work on any idea if he gets the support for it.”
Chesney said he also is looking forward to the day. Surveys and social media are one thing, but actual interaction will give the most valuable feedback. He said he believes “there is a lot to learn from the students.” Chesney said this approach is important, because it will create more opportunities when, instead of listening, the students will be participating.
Chesney said he would like to hear constructive ideas from the students, including strategic plans, goals for student achievement, initiatives on activities the school already offers or does not offer, and thoughts on what impacts success.
Chesney said students should feel comfortable speaking with him by introducing themselves as they normally would, with a handshake followed by a name. He said students who have dealt with him prior to this event have never had a problem chatting with him, so they should not be nervous to meet him.
Edna Love, Senior Administrative Assistant to the President, works with Chesney on a daily basis and supports his claim. She joked and said Chesney is one of “the most approachable presidents I have ever worked for, even to me, and I bug him all day.”