Second “Ask Ora” forum approaches

In line with her pledge to be transparent with the student body, Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz will host her second “Ask Ora” open forum on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at noon in the Oakland Center’s Gold Rooms. Last time, questions circled around advice, cost of college and mental health. Glenn McIntosh, Oakland’s vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer, encourages students to come with any questions they have for Pescovitz.

“Ask Ora is all about President Pescovitz’ desire to get to know students,” he said. “She wants to have a forum where they can ask personal, professional and university level questions. She wants to be in a campus environment where she can really connect with students.”

During the last forum, student leaders from Oakland University Student Congress and the Residence Halls Association fostered the conversation and allowed for other students to come forward and ask their own questions. Pescovitz and McIntosh answered every question, even the hard ones, while everyone had lunch and drinks that were provided at the event. This semester’s forum will operate much the same way.

Unlike the last event, Pescovitz and McIntosh are prompting the campus community to sign a Diversity Inclusion Pledge. The President’s Cabinet, staff and faculty will sign a pledge banner at 11:30 a.m. while students can sign the banner at noon during Ask Ora. McIntosh hopes the pledge will foster a better campus environment.

“This really expresses our values for diversity, equity and inclusion,” he said. “It speaks to our desire to have an environment where everyone feels welcome. We want to have a safe a secure environment for faculty, staff and students. If people are experiencing bullying and harassment we want them to speak up and report it. We want to stand up, stand strong and stand together.”