By Khaleel Herbert
On March 13, some MSU Denver students had an opportunity to ask questions and chow down some pizza with MSU Denver President Janine Davidson at the Pizza with the President event in the Jordan Student Success Building.
Pizza with the President was planned by Davidson and MSU Denver’s Student Government Assembly for students to feel heard, understand what the president does and learn more about the university’s vast programs, clubs and departments.
Other key players who answered questions at the event included Joshua Garner, the student-body president, Braelin Pantel, the associate vice president of student engagement & wellness/dean of students and Catherine Lucas, the chief of staff and vice president of strategy.
“It’s not always easy to find ways to engage with students and find out what’s going on,” Davidson said. “They’re so busy. They don’t live on this campus. So we talked to a couple students and they said, ‘Well, if there’s food, we’ll come.’”
Pizza with the President started last semester, but only happened once or twice. This semester Davidson partnered with the Student Government Assembly and Pizza with the President started happening once a month since February.
“We partnered with the student government and we left it to them to market it and find people to bring a diverse or representative group of students in every time,” Davidson said. “It’s different people every time.”
One of the students who attended March’s Pizza with the President was Van Pham, a senior majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. He explained what he liked most about the event.
“I really like how genuine the event was because like Dr. Janine said, ‘Who ever gets the chance to sit down and have pizza with their school’s president?’” Pham said. “My biggest takeaway is MSU staff and board really care about the students and that anyone can voice their concerns.”
One of main concerns addressed at the event was how students can stay informed on events happening at MSU Denver. Davidson addressed multiple routes students have for getting information including social media and the weekly newsletter distributed to MSU Denver students’ email called “The Runner.”
“If you were to just open that email, you’d kinda know what’s going on around here. And once a week, that email has my little video,” Davidson said. “There’s usually announcements in there like, ‘Hey, don’t forget next week is, blah, blah, blah.’ But every week it’s focused on a different part of the campus and what’s going on.”
Through Pizza with the President and other events, Davidson hopes students will learn more about MSU Denver and its unique programs like meteorology, brewing and aviation.
“It sort of helps people understand what life on MSU is like,” Davidson said. “I think letting people know what kinda things are out there is another reason to have Pizza with the President.”
For more information on Pizza with the President, visit: https://msudenver.edu/studenthub/studenthubspotlight/pizza/
For future MSU Denver events visit: https://msudenver.edu/events/