First impressions are critical and what Chancellor Joe Peterson presented on Sept. 24, 2014, revealed a number of things both good and bad about our campus. The chancellor started by sharing a few topics of interest that the campus and student body feel should be made clearer. ESOL, the preschool, debate and employee terminations were among topics to be discussed.
The meeting was broadcast to the Blanding campus. The chancellor shared his thoughts and feeling about our school and how the ESL program has benefited Price city by providing our community with a melting pot of association with foreign students. Our community wouldn’t have a good chance of meeting foreign students any other way.
He shared his thoughts and opinion about the student voice and how this relates to a classroom setting. “Say a teacher announces in class that there is an exam this Friday, there may be a student in the class who will groan and say, ‘why don’t we vote on pushing the test to next Monday.’ Many other students will pipe in and vote with the student and say that they agree and thus we have the consensus of the student’s voice. What they don’t understand is that this is a dictatorship.”
The chancellor elaborated on the funding of the institution and instructed us that $1 out of every $4 comes from the students, and that there are other constituencies that make up the other $3.
This posed the question why are the students not included on a ¼ of the decision making process? Why do we have to compare the student voice to a nagging classroom setting? What is so hard about understanding what the students want, as well as the community, before making a decision that affects more than just USU Eastern campus?
This is becoming an easy route to take, to purposely bypass the core and heart of the campus and brush the student’s input aside. This chancellor’s call was more of an attempt to tell students that we will never understand anything happening on our campus because administrative won’t share why. The chancellor was given several opportunities to share input on questions posed and one after another, they were avoided. USUE students have never been more united in knowing that they are thought of as “unworthy” of giving their own opinion and being heard. If the chancellor wanted the students to feel alienated and second rate, mission accomplished. In the words of Tyson Banner, “….we feel like we are unheard and that you are not listening to us….”