Terry Martinez, interim dean of student affairs, went out to lunch on Wednesday—to John Jay.
Both Martinez and Todd Smith-Bergollo, interim dean of community development and multicultural affairs, had a casual lunch date with students today in John Jay Dining Hall.
Students were surprised to find the two deans eating at a table next to them, but they engaged in conversation about topics like student wellness, student space, and transitioning into college for first-years.
Martinez talked about forming a task-force that would combat hazing practices at Columbia. Sean Augustine-Obi, CC ’16, raised the question about whether the University was doing enough to deal with the issue.
During the lunch, students also talked about the challenges of transitioning from high school to college.
Laritza Diaz, CC ’16, said that it was nice of Martinez to make an effort to reach out to students. Diaz confided in Martinez about her hesitation to approach her professors.
“As a first-year, I had a lot of struggles breaching the barrier approaching professors because it seemed like a very intimidating thing,” she said. “She was just saying that maybe she could do a workshop or something and that office hours are there for a reason.”
Martinez said that this is the first of her efforts to talk to students directly, and she plans to make her office more accessible to students with concerns about issues on campus.
Steven Lau and Tracey Wang contributed reporting.