The Dickinsonian

Students React to Ensign’s First 100 Days

Emily Messer ’20, News Editor

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After Dickinson College President Margee Ensign’s first 100 days in office, most students are pleased with her positive presence on campus and remain confident that she is bringing progressive programs to the College.

Oct. 9 marked Ensign’s 100th day in office.

Sara Bryn ’20 says that Ensign “seems like she’s doing a really good job, I love her history, and she appears to be really involved.”

Several students cite personal encounters they’ve had with her.

“I met her the first week she was here [last semester,]” says Kirsten Brodeen ’20. “I was working in a coffee shop…she came in, she met everyone there, I made her coffee drink and she was shaking our hands and she’s really friendly and upbeat.”

Nathaniel Ricardi ’20 “passed her on the sidewalk” where she said hello to him while  Shannon Bonner ’19 has “been to at least four or five different club meetings where she’s shown up just to introduce herself and talk…She waves to me when she drives by in her car.”

Ensign isn’t just seen around on the academic campus. Adam Gamber ’20 mentioned that he “saw her at the Little Three Cross Country meet and I saw her speak at [the DACA protest] so it’s just nice to see her getting down with all the students and really getting into the thick of it to talk to everyone.”

Will Chandler ’19 compared Ensign to Dickinson’s former president, Nancy Roseman, and has especially appreciated her involvement with the students on campus.  “I’ve already seen her around three times,” he said, “which is three more times than I ever saw Roseman in…two years.  So [Ensign’s] actually been excited to come out and…be at events, support all of us, and she’s been just as excited to meet me, I feel, as I have been to meet her, which is really cool.  She seems to really care about what I’m doing and tell me I’m doing a good job and it’s awesome [she appreciates] you’re an athlete for this team or you’re helping freshmen move in and stuff like that.  It not like she’s ‘I’m here, you should be honored to be in my presence.’  She seems genuinely interested to meet me as well.”

Another junior, Frank Villarreal ’19 said that it is a “great improvement to see a leader on the campus trying to support the students always, academically and socially.”

Ensign’s leadership skills and her history in Nigeria are also inspiring for students, including Brodeen, who mentioned that “seeing her cause change in things that I’m really interested in, like women’s empowerment and the work she did in Africa” was “really interesting.”  She thinks that this experience that Ensign brings with her to Dickinson “will provide a lot of good for Dickinson with our diversity and finding insight and having that global perspective on the world.  I think she’ll do a lot of good with that and connect it more.  I’m excited to see where it goes.”

Maia Baker ’19, hopes that the new president will pull the school out of a “rut” she believes it has hit.  “We dropped in the rankings,” she elaborated, “we’re loosing money from our endowment, and I think that she’s going to reenergize the college dynamic and I appreciate that she is trying to reach out to students with her open hours.  I think she should have more of them, but I think that’s a good start.”

Kacper Rzempouluch ’21 holds similar beliefs about Ensign.  “I believe that the president’s new reforms and all of her new implementations have been very progressive,” he said, “and very representative of what the college stands for…I know that we already have many of the sustainability things on campus that proves we care about what we’re doing and we care about the state of things but I believe [with] her new reforms we’re going to be able to go much further than we have.”

Cecelia Brine ’20 attended Ensign’s inauguration ceremony and believes that “[Ensign] is extremely well qualified and has super, great, new ideas for the school and how to take our school in a direction as it progresses even further.”

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Students React to Ensign’s First 100 Days