Administration snubs students with SRA process

Chloe+Anderson

Chloe Anderson

North Wind Staff

Yesterday, an open forum was held regarding the Strategic Resource Allocation (SRA) report. For the first time, students were given the opportunity to offer comment on proposed plans to redistribute university resources. These plans affect all students, and include propositions like the elimination of on-campus restaurants such as Fiera’s and Melted, the repurposing of the dome as a community center and the termination of the study abroad program.

The forum came just hours after students gained access for the first time to the report, which runs over 100 pages in length. Prior to this, interested students were completely shunned from the process. The explanation for this was that students would not have the required time to understand the complexity of the report and process. Yet, if the belief was that students wouldn’t participate anyway, there would be no need to deliberately exclude students. In truth, the SRA deals with large internal issues that, although students may not encounter them every day, deal with the entire community. As such, they have a responsibility to involve the
entire community.

While we recognize that no final decisions have been made, the fact remains that cuts or complete eliminations in funding will take place. While streamlining and slashing programs may look good on paper, behind every dollar is a person with a voice. This is not an issue to be taken lightly, and students are aware of this. When given the opportunity, students will carve out time in their schedules if it pertains to something they’re passionate about, especially if changes threaten programs provided by the university that they have come to rely on. Thus, the administration had absolutely no right to completely exclude students from the process.

We understand that the business of the administration is to look out for us. While we trust that they have our best interests in mind, it’s difficult to overlook the authoritarian style that this report was compiled in. We are the students, and changes to the university are meant to serve us. More input is clearly required if we’re going to get this right.

In the future, our hope is that the administration allows student participation, instead of ambushing them with changes they’ve had no say in.