Students talk and the search committee listens
by Abby Musser – Horizon Co-Editor-in-Chief
What do Hesston students want in a college president?
Students weighed in on this question and more at the listening sessions facilitated by the Presidential Search Committee last Friday.
Ken G Kabira, Search Committee chair, wanted to hear directly from students about “what makes the Hesston experience so good.”
Students offered their opinions about what they like about Hesston and where the college could improve.
“The committee made sure to hear everyone’s voice for as long as they wanted to speak,” said sophmore Oliver Wisseman. “All the students there had something to say about what they thought was integral to the culture of HC or what it could be. I felt that the session was important and it was treated as so, and I am grateful for that.”
“The presidential listenings restored the true intentions and hopes of Hesston College for current and future students,” said sophmore Caroline Riggenbach. “Laughs and memories were shared alongside real issues that we, as students cared about. It made me so happy to agree with my fellow peers in that when we all return in 20 years for our class reunions, we want to smile and say,’Its the same Hesston, just better.’
“The listening sessions were extremely helpful for the committee,” said Kabira. “It gave us a sense of the unique strengths of Hesston College, how students feel nurtured by the College’s Christ-centered community, and their desire for Hesston to continue to thrive into the future.”
These sessions are just the first step in the search process for the next Hesston College President.
According to Carlos Romero, executive director Mennonite Education Agency Board, the next steps will involve a survey going out to all of Hesston College including alumni, which will be used to create a presidential profile that will be posted online.
By the time the Presidential Search Committee finds a suitable candidate, most of the students will have moved on to other things. So why involve students? Kabira addressed this in a recent email:
“Students were involved in the past searches, and their voices helped the committees make good decisions,” said Kabira. “You and your classmates benefited from the good decision made by past search committees, and I believe you owe it to future students to help this committee.”