While there have been some spats in The Campanil office regarding last week’s layoffs — some of us believe layoffs were necessary and that it is impossible for the College to be transparent in such layoffs — we all agree that the manner in which those decisions were carried out was cruel and disrespectful, and that we are ready to meet whatever high-up person(s) really voted this plan into action.
As we sat in Thursday’s 4 p.m. meeting with Dr. Joi Lewis, our cameras and reporter pads clasped in anticipation, we thought it was beyond strange that DeCoudreaux only stayed for half an hour, forcing Dr. Lewis to stand alone to face outraged students and alumns. We saw Provost Sandra Greer out of the corner of our eyes, sitting near a wall — but for some reason, she didn’t help woman the podium.
One student, using ‘mic check’ reminded everyone at the end of the meeting that Dr. Lewis isn’t solely to blame, and that those who make the really big decisions “are never seen.” Those who have the audacity to enact such impactful and instant changes in our beloved community must, by now, be keeping their faces hidden out of shame — and indeed, they should be ashamed.
Suppsedly laid off staff cannot be rehired due to impending lawsuits. As a result, some of us think that the student movement should change their demands accordingly, but some of us joined in chanting “Bring them back!” Thursday afternoon.
Many of us feel that implementing these ‘budget solutions’ during the last full week of classes is beyond shady. Did the administration think their actions would have no student backlash because Millsies, notoriously hard-working students determined for 4.0s, wouldn’t pry themselves away from take-home essays to fight for what they believed in? They thought wrong.
The energy and sense of community inside the Student Union at Thursday’s 4 p.m. meeting was palpable, and if there is anything positive that has come from these decisions it is the amazing student response of solidarity.
The Campanil staff believes that students must have a say in these decisions in the future, and should have had one already. Current students should serve on the Budget Committee, and of all committees that make changes which have such wide-ranging repercussions. This is something that must happen for transparency to ever come to the Mills administration, and for everyone to know who’s calling the shots.