My name is Barbara Matthews and I am a senior English major, running for the position of Online Student Senator. Being an online-only student, I know the tremendous rewards that online learning provides, but am also aware of its challenges. While enjoying flexibility and freedom, online students may often feel excluded from the rest of the student body and the many activities UIS offers. Knowing this, I would like to represent UIS's growing online community and address its unique needs.
I am proud to be a student of such a fine university, and earning a degree online makes me feel on the cutting edge of educational advances and technology. As OSS, I want to make sure that UIS increases its presence and visibility outside of the Illinois state borders. My college education started a few years later than most, and I know my experience represents that of many of our online students as they balance work and families with school. I wish to share my enthusiasm about UIS's online program with the many potential students around the world who have yet to hear about us.
We all know how important it is to connect to others outside of class. Therefore, I would like to create an online student lounge. This meeting point for socializing and studying means online students won't have any less of a social experience. I would also like to work on an expansion of majors for graduate study, which would allow those of us close to finishing their BAs the opportunity to continue our studies at an university and in a learning style that we enjoy.
The most important thing for us online students is communication and as OSS, I look forward to being not only a spokeswoman, but also a facilitator of digital dialogue between the entire UIS community.