Students react to Tetlow town hall


A screengrab of the virtual town hall hosted by the Student Government Association on Tuesday, Dec. 8. Students could submit questions to be answered by University President Tania Tetlow. Photo credit: Staff

Chloe Caudle and Brendan Heffernan

Students were left with mixed feelings following a virtual town hall with University President Tania Tetlow on Tuesday. Some felt it was informative, while others felt it was all for show.

SGA President Freedom Richardson thought the event was long overdue. He said he wants to encourage students to engage with President Tetlow so they can voice their concerns.

On Dec. 8, the Student Government Association sponsored the town hall with Tetlow. As many as 49 members of the Loyola community joined a zoom call to hear President Tetlow answer student questions about a variety of topics including COVID-19, academic breaks and tuition.

Some students felt like the town hall was a PR stunt by President Tetlow and that she was only asked softball questions. Analene McCullough, history junior, and Bernadette Fox, law student, both voiced concerns at the end of the Town Hall and felt that they were being ignored.

“It felt condescending to students who are struggling,” McCullough said, “If (Tetlow) spoke with students, especially those of us who were forced to live off-campus this year due to being upperclassmen, she would know that many of us are struggling.”

“Personally, my single mother works a full-time job and also had a small business that was beginning to flourish pre-pandemic and is now struggling to continue existing while also caring for my foster brother,” McCullough said.

Fox shared many of McCullough’s concerns and also spoke on the problem of reporting faculty.

“Students asked verbatim how to handle professors who refuse to accommodate us in the midst of a global crisis and (President Tetlow) said we should report them,” Fox said, “She conveniently didn’t touch on the fact that reporting does not work.” Fox went on to say that following the cases of Sonya Duhe and Walter Block that she and many other students don’t trust that their complaints will be taken seriously.

Patrica Murret, associate director of public affairs, said she felt like the event went well.

“President Tetlow was very candid and transparent on a number of matters, ranging from COVID-testing, to spring break and tuition and fees,” Murret said.

SGA Senator Robert Morrison believed important information was given to students. He said he liked how Tetlow made COVID-19 testing mandatory for students before coming back to campus for the spring semester.

“The tone over offering testing has changed since the beginning of the first semester, and I am glad that it’s required,” Morrison said.

SGA plans to hold more of these town halls during the Spring semester, according to Richardson.