Need to reverse corruption cycle

Over the summer, the university administration experienced a major admissions scandal. Later this year, the university refused to give graduate employees a fair contract, even though students and their families have suffered in this poor economy. After President Joseph B. White stepped down, the university formed a Presidential Search Committee and held a “listening session” for people to voice their opinions and give suggestions of qualities that would be valuable in a new president.

I attended that meeting, and found that many people were deeply upset with the atmosphere of corruption that permeates this administration. Although claiming to want people’s input, the search committee chose to exclude students, faculty, and community members from any future decisions that will be made, all in the name of secrecy.

I recently found out that the university has made another decision behind closed doors. Undergraduate Chemistry Teaching Assistants, who receive tuition waivers for their work, have heard from faculty that their waivers will be revoked in the coming semester.

The university has not made any statements on the matter and probably intended to tell students about this drastic pay cut a couple of days before the semester started. This move would place a large, unexpected burden on these TA’s. Graduate students who perform similar labor for the school receive tuition waivers – the undergraduates deserve the same.

As a public institution, this school has a responsibility to make education as affordable and accessible as possible. Ignoring students’ repeated efforts at dialogue, choosing a new president without seriously consulting the public, and treating people as if they are expendable is part of this administration’s egregious pattern of disrespect to those they don’t see as important.

We need to reverse this trend of corruption and it’s up to us to make that happen.

Ben Rothschild,

sophomore in LAS