Flagler College Interim VP of Student Affairs: ‘I’m Sorry’

Laura Stevenson Dumas speaking at the General Assembly.

By Casey Niebuhr | gargoyle@flagler.edu

The Student Government Association (SGA) held its weekly General Assembly on Tuesday. The executive board invited Laura Stevenson Dumas, interim vice president of student affairs, to address growing concerns from the student body that the College administration has not been able to carry out obligations.

“I want to apologize,” said Stevenson. “The College did fail our incoming students [this year] … We did not have … the environment that [students] deserved when [they] moved in … and this is something that the team is working very hard to improve and rectify.”

Stevenson is the acting director of student affairs at Flagler College following Dr. Sandra Miles’ quiet resignation on September 14. Miles had held the position of Vice President of Student Affairs since July 2019.

“Last week’s announcement … probably took a lot of people by surprise,” Stevenson said. “I’m here to continue the good work of Dr. Miles.”

Stevenson highlighted initiatives the College’s administration is planning to implement during the academic year, such as improving resident hall living conditions, adding more educational and career development programs, as well as hosting both large events and smaller engagement opportunities for students.

“We are aware of things we need to do … [We] have a team that has your best interest at heart,” Stevenson continued.

The most important initiative the College is working toward is involvement on campus and in the St. Augustine community.

“You come here for the educational experience … but you’re also here to develop yourselves as human beings,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson encouraged students to remain connected and network through local activism and volunteer work, notably by highlighting social issues regarding diversity and inclusion awareness.

“If you’re on this campus and you don’t see yourself on this campus, there’s a problem … We value you; We want to invest in you … and continue to raise your voice.”

Students can send their inquiries to Stevenson at LStevenson@flagler.edu.

“We let you down at the beginning of the year,” concluded Stevenson. “I’m sorry. You deserve better, and we’re going to continue to push that forward.”

SGA hosts general assemblies every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Student Center.

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