The Right Way to Complain!

Matt DiGiovanni

I know I’ve written an editorial about this before, but I think everyone occasionally needs a reminder about how to complain properly to make it less annoying and more about actually getting the complaint resolved. No, this isn’t about how to get your old Facebook profile back so you don’t need to deal with “stalkerbook,” but it will hopefully help out anyone with a few complaints who don’t know what to do about it.

Having an issue on campus? There are a few different routes on how to deal with them, and depending on the specific situation, some are more effective than others. First and foremost, if you have an issue with a specific person, if at all possible, talk to the person first. For example, I know that when a lot of folks have issues with a professor, rather than speaking with the professor first to try and resolve an issue, they skirt the issue by either avoiding their issue and just complaining, or they go over their professor’s head and speak with the department chair. While I know that a professor’s style of teaching may not work fully with the student’s learning style, not giving the professor a chance to fix the issue means they could be blindsided when they find out not everyone is happy in their class.

As for issues with other things on campus such as buildings/facilities or dorm issues, try to get help by either heading to ChargerConnection (http://chargerconnection.newhaven.edu) and submitting your concern there, or find out what the proper channel is for you to go through on your own. IT can help with internet issues but only if they know exactly where the issue is, including a room number. During my sophomore year, I was having really bad internet connectivity issues and IT responded by stopping by and noticing that despite having a wireless router right outside my door, something in my room was interfering. They gave my room a small hub that all of us could plug into and while it wasn’t the ideal solution, it fixed the issue the best way possible under those conditions. In the end, if you need help finding out who to talk to about a problem, ask around: either friends or acquaintances who know “everything” or talk to a member of the faculty or staff. Someone will be able to help you with your issue if you politely ask around and act civil!

In an effort to help students begin to understand who does what at the university, starting in the next issue of The Charger Bulletin, there will be a feature on page three interviewing various people in offices throughout the campus. We’ll begin with some (hopefully) familiar faces and move on to a few lesser-known people, as we get farther into this semester and next semester. I hope this will help with resolving issues, as it will clear up the hierarchy of faculty and staff here a little bit making sure you contact whom you should if and when the time comes!

Two quick last things: first, if you have an issue and you’re doing nothing to resolve it, you really don’t have room to complain about it! Issues don’t usually fix themselves, so don’t count on that happening and instead take matters into your own hands. Second, you may have noticed above that I said head to ChargerConnection to post your concerns