The sixth candidate in the race for presidency, Alexander Enyedi held the last set of forums this Wednesday and Thursday in the SUNY Plattsburgh Angell College Center Cardinal Lounge.
A Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Humboldt State University, Enyedi plans to address the issues on campus such as faculty and staff involvement, improving enrollment, engagement, equity and inclusivity. Enyedi stressed that athletics are a large necessity to campus unification.
These soccer athletes attended with the intent to see how Enyedi plans to connect with athletics while prioritizing academics.
“As president, I will attend all the sporting events,” Enyedi said. “I will clear my schedule and walk the campus.”
“Student athletes graduate at rates higher than the general student body,” Enyedi said in regards to the importance of keeping a stabilized athletic program in future years.
Enyedi grew up with an interest in science, eventually pursuing a career. In 1981, he began his journey at the University of Guelph receiving a Bachelor’s in Environmental Biology and Agriculture and in 1985 further pursued a Master’s degree in Environmental Plant Biology. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Biochemistry at Pennsylvania State University in 1991.
Enyedi also took an administrative role in 2008 as the Senior Associate Dean until 2010 at the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University. After his term ended, he became official Dean of the department until 2015.
Enyedi also discussed the importance of higher education and the involvement of students within academics.
“Never lose sight that [students] are the most important thing in any situation,” Enyedi said, as he passed out cards to students.
Students were instructed to write things they loved about the campus, but also vocalize what aspects need to be changed such as diversity in faculty and staff, discrimination and more.
One of the athletes brought up how students sometimes feel unsafe walking roads right outside of campus, as trucks drive on the road waving Confederate flags with pride. Many students have also experienced verbal insults, the students said.
“I want to ensure you have the support and services that need to be available to you,” Enyedi said. “Students deserve the same opportunity, no matter what color.”
Sophomore Erolyn Leitch also complained about the lack of diversity within the faculty and staff; however, she is happy with the population size.
“The school is small enough for faculty and staff to connect with the students,” Leitch said, agreeing with Enyedi’s admiration of the unified campus community.
Within the student community, a big goal is to provide a safe space for students. University police officers in the area are currently going through equity training to cater to the needs of a more diverse campus life, Enyedi said.
If appointed, Enyedi promises to take responsibility for the challenges faced on campus. His future implementations include no less than an athletic, inclusive, safe environment for future SUNY Plattsburgh enrollees.