SASHA DEBEVEC-MCKENNEY, Editor-in-Chief
During common hour on Wednesday, Sept. 2, President Scott Bierman held his first informal office hours of the year: Coffee with the President. At a linen-covered table in Java Joint, Bierman talked to approximately a dozen students. This week, the conversation centered on the new food service and how meal plans were altering where people eat on campus. Bierman said the Bon Appetit discussion turned into a “mini focus group,” which he found especially helpful.
The college’s new food service has been a major topic of discussion this year. Bierman hopes his availability on campus can stop it from “rising to a level of frustration, in which people start getting needlessly angry at each other.”
Students who have participated in Coffee with the President have done so, Bierman observed, with the aim to prove the community as a whole, “I see…almost no narrow self-interest. It is much broader. And how can you not appreciate those conversations?”
Coffee with the President is the result of a failed attempt at holding office hours in Middle College. It is Bierman’s opinion that people didn’t come to his open office hours because of their formal nature. Moving to Java Joint was his way of initiating “a conversation” with the student body.
“People imagine I know more about the details of things than I really do, so [the event] allowed me to ask some of my ignorant questions,” said Bierman
Bierman will hold Coffee with the President at least five times a year, although he hopes to make it a more frequent occurrence.