“Ask Ora” during open forum next week

Students will get the chance to speak with Oakland University’s new president, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, on Monday, Oct. 2 from 12-1 p.m. in the Gold Rooms of the Oakland Center. The event, called “Ask Ora,” is planned to be the first of several open forums with the president.

When applying for her position, Pescovitz said that she wanted to pursue a more open relationship with the campus community. “Ask Ora,” seeks to accomplish just that. Students, faculty and staff are invited to come with their questions and curiosities.

“I want to get to know students and have students get to know me,” she said. “I am interested in understanding what issues are of importance to you.”

Pescovitz says her goal for the event is for it to flow like a large conversation. She and Chief Diversity Officer, Glenn McIntosh, will be seated at the front of the room facing the crowd of students. Representatives from the Residence Halls Association and Oakland University Student Congress will get the conversation started. After that, any student who wants to ask a question can grab a microphone and do so.

“I hope the event will attract a room full of students who share my enthusiasm about the arrival of our new president,” McIntosh said. “She is a very charismatic leader with many life experiences that make her an excellent role model for students to learn ways to be successful throughout their life journey. The casual setting should eliminate barriers oftentimes felt between campus administrators and students.”

Both Pescovitz and McIntosh said that they want students to come bearing honest questions regarding academics, life and career goals. They also want to use the forum as a vehicle for learning about student concerns and where students would like to see Oakland head in the future.

But, Pescovitz does not want the forum to be all business.

“[“Ask Ora” should be] informal, conversational and fun,” she said. “I hope that everyone will feel comfortable and that the dialogue will be open, honest and respectful.”

For students who cannot make the event on Oct. 2, another forum is in the works for the winter semester. McIntosh said that students should always feel free to stop and talk to him when they see him around campus, and Pescovitz would like to see as many students as possible at future forums.

“I do understand that class, family, work or other obligations take priority,” she said. “If you cannot make it today; I hope you might be able to come to a future event.”