Story by Ammas Tanveer
Have you heard about The Panel @ Allen? This new student committee actually began as two separate groups with a lot in common: The Student Advisory Board to the Dean and the Diversity & Inclusion Action Committee joined forces to bring forward student concerns to the highest level of leadership within the UO School of Journalism and Communication.
Newly combined into one entity, the Panel @ Allen’s mission statement is to “connect students and faculty within the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication by advising the dean in order to enrich the SOJC experience for students through new opportunities for growth and inclusion.”
The chair of The Panel (as it is known for short), advertising junior Ammas Tanveer, stated that his goal for the committee is “…to help create a clear and easy path of communication between everyday students and the dean.”
Another member of The Panel, Ryan Seibold, voiced similar sentiments: “As students, we have a great potential to have incredibly loud voices to our administration on how to improve our experience within the SOJC, and The Panel is a way to compile those voices into action.”
To start the conversation, The Panel introduced itself to interested students at a town hall forum on May 17. The group invited all SOJC students to voice their ideas and concerns for the future of the school with a panel of SOJC faculty, including Edwin L. Artzt Dean Juan-Carlos Molleda, Professor Deb Morrison, and instructors Kathryn Kuttis, Lisa Heyamoto and Steven Asbury. The event was the product of The Panel’s desire to open up dialogue between Molleda and the general student population following news of potential cuts and plans to renovate Allen Hall to accommodate more experiential learning opportunities.
“We cannot stop the transformation of the SOJC,” said Molleda at the town hall. “We cannot stop moving the SOJC toward the second century. We must prioritize pushing collaborative projects between disciplines.”
The town hall was the first of many events that The Panel has planned. The group would like to hold more informal and open meetings where students can easily approach committee members with ideas and concerns they can then communicate to Molleda.
In addition to working on opening up more lines of communication between students and the dean, the group hopes to work with faculty and staff to better understand the resources they need to help create a more inclusive and effective learning environment for all students.
The Panel urges students that would like to communicate with them to reach out to @ThePanelAllen on Twitter and Instagram as well as the group’s Facebook page — social channels they will also use to highlight students and events in the SOJC.
“Changes to the SOJC experience are inevitable, and not all of these changes will be met openly,” said Tanveer. “So it is important to make sure that the individuals most affected by these changes — students — are the ones directing the conversations that are most important to them. In the changing journalism landscape it is vital that the SOJC looks to the future but even more vital that students join the conversation”
The Panel is looking for student members for the 2017-18 academic year. Interested students can apply online.
Ammas Tanveer is a junior from Lake Oswego, Oregon, majoring in advertising and minoring in business administration and anthropology. In addition to chairing The Panel @ Allen, he works with ASUO as the executive designee for the Athletic Contract Finance Committee and acts as the host of Duck TV. He has previously worked as a UO student ambassador.