Until we realize that education is for everyone and not for the materially privileged departments that bring in research money, there will never be education. There are no double standards, but this is precisely what is happening in the guillotining of the journalism department. All non-research grant privileged departments stand in the guillotine line, nervous and unsure about their own status. For that matter, all students that attend the University of Arizona need not pack their bags.
Does it surprise anyone then that the administration, and specifically the insulated bureaucrat Paul Sypherd, has not sought student opinion? Does anyone truly believe that education is simply "education"? Consider the research money provided from business and government agencies! Consider also past administrations that built new administrative buildings while neglecting student housing. (The current spate of dormitory construction appears woefully inadequate to address the needs of the 30,000 students without on-campus housing.) Education is a business and the university is a business conglomerate. The student is first a consumer, and then a student. It follows that the fundamental reason for education, i.e., the student, is ignored by the administration.
Let us not forget that democracy is a political system of reaction. If you are not one of those who have money (and therefore power), then you are one of the have-nots. Power must be built through solidarity and protest, and these must be persistent and loud. Is student solidarity possible? Do we really care about the fate of the journalism department? The Arizona Daily Wildcat cares about the plight of the journalism department, but has the newspaper tapped into the student body? Should it tap into the student body? Is it the duty of the newspaper to mobilize student support? For example, why not conduct a student survey to see the reaction of the student body to this issue.
As it stands now, the Arizona Daily Wildcat and the administration stand on opposite sides, and the student body stands somewhere else. The guillotining of the journalism department is a terrible and an arbitrary act on part of the administration, but the success of the administration hinges upon student divisiveness and apathy. They win when we do not care! We need to mobilize protest and build strength in resistance.
The administration has demonstrated its commitment to hide behind the walls of budget deficits to attack various programs. Equally ludicrous is their commitment to a new campus in another part of Tucson. How will this benefit the student body? I know it will benefit the careers of the administrators (the business executives of the university) who hope to enhance their prestige by anticipating the future. But the future has no relevance if education is ignored today; it has no importance if students are forced to transfer to another university to earn their degrees.
It is impossible to believe the hypocrisy of the administration. Show solidarity and save the journalism department. Do not accept the "stories" of the administration. If they can open a new campus, then they have no real reason to eliminate any program. Use the money where it is needed! Demonstrate a commitment to education!
Non-degree Political Science Graduate
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