The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette online parent chat gets rave reviews

In a discussion that was the first of its kind, more than 260 parents participated in an online chat with a panel of 16 administrators and representatives of Marquette, who answered questions posed by the parents. Due to the forum’s success, both administrators and parents alike said they hopr to see more chats in the future.

Julie Murphy, coordinator for new student programs, initiated the chat and formed the panel. Murphy said the University of Wisconsin-Madison holds similar parent chats, which helped her with the format.

She also anticipated the types of questions parents would ask and then chose panelists who could provide sufficient answers.

The panel accepted questions for an hour but continued to answer those submitted for an additional 30 minutes. In total, the panelists answered 90 questions, with the most popular topics being financial aid, on and off-campus housing, student involvement and academic advising.

Murphy said the parents who participated were appreciative of the opportunity to ask administrators direct questions.

“(The chat) was a good step to provide parents with access to administration,” Murphy said. “… When parents ask us a question, it is like a student asking us a question.”

The majority of the parents — 55 percent — who participated in the chat have freshman students.

“We expected that most would be freshman parents because their students are going through everything at Marquette for the first time,” Murphy said.

Murphy said although most of the questions were answered publicly in the forum, a few were responded to privately. These questions were very student-specific and the panelists chose to message those parents directly, she said.

She also said the university plans to hold more parent online chat room sessions targeting more specific topics in the future.

Many parents expressed appreciation and the desire for future forums on the parents’ Facebook page, Official Marquette University Parent Group. Those who commented on the page said they missed the chat and hoped similar chats would be held again.

Stephanie Quade, dean of students, recognized the Facebook page as a key factor for initiating the chat. She said the large number of parents who visit the page was a reason to create a moderated forum where questions could be answered with university resources.

“The parent Facebook group is a recent phenomenon,” she said.

Quade also said she was able to offer a wide variety of questions, since she has worked at Marquette for more than 20 years. She said the most difficult questions for the panel to answer were about academic advising because it is handled differently in every college.

Some students spoke with their parents about participating in the forum.

Richard Kennedy, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said his mother logged in to the chat. He said she asked questions about the academic workload, residence hall dining options and off-campus housing at the university.

Kennedy said he was glad his mother participated in the chat.

“(The chat) got her off my back about questions that I have no idea about,” he said. “Half of the time when my mom asks me questions I don’t know what she is talking about.”

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