Some of you may have noticed the new banners around campus, draping from the posts along the roadways here at University of Richmond. These banners read “The Campaign for Richmond: Fulfilling the Promise.”
Fulfilling the Promise? As a student at Richmond, as well as a member of the track and field team, this damage-control tactic adds insult to injury.
The majority of the real University of Richmond community feels as though the administration has been failing its faculty, its students, its alumni and, ironically, its iconic Promise.
For those who need a brief synopsis of what has transpired recently at UR, here are the most controversial decisions made by the university: the cutting of the soccer and track and field programs, the firing of a librarian, the changes to Ring Dance, and the revocation of Kappa Sigma’s charter.
Wherever you stand on these issues, the decisions have been made with limited (at best) involvement of the Richmond community and hazy (at best) transparency of the decision making process.
Let’s flashback to the Save Our Sports (SOS) conference held last semester, where President Ayers said that the administration’s failure to keep the Richmond Promise was one of the best uses of the Richmond Promise he has seen here at UR.
Unfortunately for him, the realization of the Richmond Promise wasn’t in gleaming praise or steadfast commitment; it was because the administration is failing the university.
However, so much more happened in that conference with our current president. Ayers was seen yelling at the student body, mocking them with the now-popular phrase “What else ya’ got?”, avoiding answers, claiming two faculty members in the decision making process was adequate, laughing at a soccer player’s question and claiming that since the university as a whole was becoming more diverse we didn’t have to worry about keeping diversity in the athletic department.
I would love if Richmond began ‘Fulfilling the Promise,’ I am simply worried whether we have the right people in charge to do so.