UA administration should serve the students

An Open Letter to the Student Body:

Who does this university belong to? I ask that in all sincerity. I believe it belongs to you and to the citizens of Arizona. Why does it exist? The university serves many purposes and constituents. We do research in both the hard and the social sciences. We try to improve the quality of life for the citizens of this state. We provide numerous services to both the public and private corporations. Without students, however, we would simply be a research institute, not an university. Students are the key in the equation that makes this an institution of higher learning.

Why then does our Provost consider "virtually none" of the feedback from students when considering the elimination of major departments? I say our Provost because I believe he works for us. Yet he does not consider our input when deciding to cut our departments. Provost Sypherd does not act like he works for us because he knows he can get away with it. The average student does not think Sypherd or other administrators work for us. Administrators have not been accountable to students in the past so the idea of them being accountable to us now is foreign.

The administration wants to follow grandoise dreams yet they refuse to simply maintain what things we already have. Sypherd wants millions to build the First Year Student Center while our Student Union is falling apart. Remember the windows falling out of Gould-Simpson or the new Theater Arts Complex that could not afford seats in their theater?

Cutting the journalism department (just like the cutting of OMSA) is a mere symptom of a much larger problem. The problem is one in which administrators favor a few departments that serve their network of friends while students are merely background. If this school belongs to us, we must turn that paradigm around. We must assert an alternative paradigm that demands that administrators work for students. I ask students to hold the administration accountable. I know that I do.

Naomi Mudge

History major in the College of Education

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