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Fix My Campus working to expand student reach

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Fix My Campus has made strides to address a number of campus issues recently, but many student concerns remain outside of its purview.

The organization—which is an affiliate of Duke Student Government—handles complaints and suggestions about improving Duke facilities and communicates with administrators about how to implement the changes. FMC co-director Courtney Scoufis, a sophomore, said that the organization “has a fast turnaround rate” for addressing student complaints but that changes are being made to improve its structure.

“This year we plan to extend that to the graduate student population,” said Scoufis. “We have brought a graduate student onto our committee and are currently working to make Fix My Campus an inclusive page for all of Duke.”

The organization also plans to create an app so that students have a new avenue to make suggestions in addition to the current Facebook page—which has more than 4,000 members—said sophomore Luke Wolf, FMC’s co-director. 

FMC has worked to meet the request for new equipment in campus gyms and members are now working with Duke Vending to add more vending machines with healthy options across campus, Wolf wrote. Members of FMC have also been communicating with Parking and Transportation Services on creating a car-towing app that will notify students if their car has been towed and where it has been moved, Wolf said.

He added that complaints about mold on Central Campus are common on the Facebook page, but should be addressed by calling maintenance for now.

Several students said that their peers need to be more realistic when it comes to complaints made on the FMC Facebook page.

Freshman Alec Lintz similarly noted that many problems are not within FMC’s power to fix.

“It would be great if Duke as an institution stopped and realized that the majority of the problems reported to FMC fall under the umbrellas of larger structural problems: the bus system, Duke parking, dining plan frustrations,” Lintz said. “There’s only so much that students can do until it becomes necessary for the administration to intervene.”

Wolf and Scoufis explained that each week the 10-member FMC committee chooses a few prominent and feasible issues from the approximately 12 suggestions students post on the Facebook page. The committee members—some of who specialize in certain types of requests—then contact relevant administrators, faculty and staff to help resolve the issue. The time frame for a project varies depending on the financial and administrative resources needed.

“We’ve been pretty successful in responding to students,” Wolf said. “We just want to continue getting more input and work on projects that affect students in their day-to-day lives.”

Junior Austin Ruiz noted that he thinks FMC is very responsive and has been able to meet most of students’ requests.

“I think the easiest way to see how effective they are is to just look at the updates they post,” Ruiz wrote in an email. “Most of the projects are new or ongoing, but it really does seem like they’re trying to do the most they can for Duke students.”

Junior Lauren Sibley noted that FMC is effective in its ability to keep students updated on their progress with problems and comes up with innovative solutions but that there is room for improvement.

“I see Fix my Campus drifting into a place full of negativity and unreasonable expectations,” Sibley wrote in an email. “So many posts I see on Fix My Campus lack professionalism and courtesy. I urge students to remember that there are students on the other side, reading your post, trying to figure out how to address the issue with the limited power students have.”

The Chronicle communicated with Wolf via phone and email. Claire Ballentine contributed reporting.

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