Letter to the Editor | Web Update

Letter to the editor and community from a RCSGA senator

Published: December 9, 2012, 6:46 pm ET
Class of 2016 Senator, RCSGA

To The Collegian and Members of the UR Community,

I am writing in regard to my comments toward Dr. Ayers in the article, “Students protest reconfiguration at Board of Trustees luncheon.” My comments were taken out of context and were inappropriately personal. In the heat of the moment, I made the mistake of personalizing the legitimate fight for greater student involvement. For that, I apologize.

I think Dr. Ayers has managed to accomplish some very positive goals since arriving at the University. Although we may disagree on some issues, I support much of what he has done. One of the key issues that our President has championed has been student involvement. Given my steadfast support of student involvement, I certainly appreciate the support.

The RCSGA resolution to increase student involvement at the University builds on what Dr. Ayers started. I’m not seeking to challenge the President. Rather, I want to cooperate with the administration to increase student involvement. In his letter to The Collegian today, Chief McCoy outlined our resolution’s goals, “UR student perspectives, early participation and being transparent when possible will go a long way to ensure this type of situation does not occur again.” I could not have said it better myself.

Our resolution, which has been emailed to all Richmond College students (sorry WC, RCSGA doesn’t technically represent you!), seeks to establish a framework for students to give input at all levels of the University.

First, we ask that administration establish a transparency policy, so that all community members — but particularly students — can understand the reasoning that went into a particular decision. We know that there’s always information that the administration cannot release. All we ask is that the administration lists what information they can’t release.

Second, we suggest that the University include a student representative on every administrative committee that relates to students. Dr. Ayers has made strides toward including students on committees, and we’re just suggesting that the policy is formalized.

Third, we know that RCSGA and WCGA contain a diversity of student views. In a major University decision, we reckoned that the administration might value these views. Indeed, we suggested that the University administration consult the two bodies when making a decision that would impact more than 300 students. We don’t recommend that the administration follow our guidance, merely that they might benefit from hearing it.

Fourth and finally, we believe that the best way to safeguard student interests is to have two of our own on the Board. To clarify, there are already two student representatives on the Board committees. We sincerely appreciate the administration and the Board’s efforts to include student perspectives on the committees. What concerns us, however, is that some decisions might not receive student input if they are considered directly by the board’s executive committee, where there are no representatives. We think that the board’s decisions would be enriched by having a student perspective, and that is why we are proposing that two student-trustee positions be created.

To date, we do appreciate the efforts of the board and the University administration to include students. Our resolution suggests a framework to support and improve the existing efforts. We very much hope the administration and the board continue to give it consideration. If you approve of our suggestions, I very much hope that you will consider signing our coming petition.

I continue to believe very firmly in the power of the Richmond Promise, created by our esteemed President. Like many of my fellow Senators, I am a proud Spider and want this University to be the best it can possibly be. I hope that you will stand with us as we continue to work toward the best UR possible.

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  • Reality Check

    “sorry WC, RCSGA doesn’t technically represent you!”

    Even though practically-speaking, you absolutely do. (Just another reason why the coordinate-college system is an anachronistic embarrassment to the University as a whole.)

  • Daisylove

    Don’t worry, Harry- WC addressed the President and the Board regarding this matter weeks ago! Thanks for all the hard work!

    • Troubled Spider

      WC should make their dialogue with the administration and board public as RC has done. Let’s shine the light of day on what is going on.

  • Tony

    You should have had the courage to stick with what you originally said. This doesn’t come across as sincere at all.

  • Jim James

    As an alumni there’s only one thing I can say — the Administration will never provide enough transperancy for the students to be envolved with any kinds of critical decisions. They get a fresh set of students every four years, so they don’t have to be accountable for their decisions. My class (2012) fought the same battles.

  • Jim James

    And also…what is the smoking gun about the Board’s recent decision to cut soccer and track? The smoking gun is the study they cited as evidence for the need to cut the programs. Where is that study? Why wasn’t it publisized? They have said that the study cannot be released because it contains confidential information. Why can’t they censor the confidential parts? The truth is — the study most likely does not exist. This is a classic case of disinformation and any professor of politics (who isn’t a lackey to major media propaganda, or party-sponsored think tanks) can see through this instantly.
    The truth is — until we get some transperancy and accountability, all the students are going to hear are Public Rleations-appropriate statements and jibber-jabber from people like Mr. McCoy and the Atheltics Director who, blessed their hearts, are instructed to take the blame for the Administration’s complete disregard of student opinion.
    Ok, the Administration is working toawards being more transperant. Where are the specifics? Is there an official initiative? Ok, the Administration will include more student representatives in their “secret” meetings. How are the students chosen? How can they provide input? These questions can help us realize the masquerade of the Administration.
    Also, no student is brave enough to risk his/her reputation, because, after all, students are there to get educated. So, be prapered for 4 years of passive-aggressive, midly aggrivating and unfulfilling relationship with the Administration and its employees.

    • A

      It is great to see the University has produced an alumnus who is able to write a well-argued, eloquent and intelligent (free from spelling errors [or utilize spellcheck], write complete sentences, use appropriate capitalization, etc.) response. Maybe you should have worked “toawards” that, during your time at Richmond.

      • Nice job, A

        Using that logic, let’s throw the future lacrosse team, or hell why not the basketball or football teams, up against the soccer or track teams when it comes to academic capability.

        It’s nice to rely on academic ability when it’s convenient, isn’t it? Richmond’s share of male student athletes who have these abilities is about to shrink considerably. Good job, UR. Be proud to find yourself a smidgen closer (but never anywhere near in athletic ability) to those jokes of SEC schools who churn in and out academically incapable athletes.

        Huzzah to wannabe professional sports factories like Richmond!

      • Jim James

        Dear A,

        All I understood from your poor attempt at sarcasm is that you are mean-spirited. Intelligence, my friend, has very little to do with spelling errors and a lot to do with content. Similarly to the Administration’s responses so far, there is very little content in what you are saying and a lot of finickiness.

        Respectfully Yours,
        Jim James

  • In between the lines

    Interesting how he changed his mind so quickly. Any coincidence that Harry will be in Ed Ayer’s FYS next semester. I think not.

    • Sarcasm

      I will be live tweeting a play by play of the first class if anyone is interested.