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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Priorities for our next President of the College

<nt to be among the first to congratulate Steve Poskanzer on his appointment as the next president of Carleton College. Taking leadership at a prestigious college can be a daunting task and we realize that it is not the easiest time to be stepping into this position. President Oden leaves behind a legacy that will be hard to live up to and there are also many issues that the college is currently facing.

Schools across the country, including Carleton have been affected by the recession. Unfortunately, this means that the school needs to make sacrifices and tough choices about the resources and facilities that we are able to offer our community. We need to be sure that we are making financial choices that are in the students’ best interests, which are informed by student, faculty and administrative opinions. 

For example, the new Arts Union, with an estimated price tag of $42 million, will be the cornerstone of President Oden’s legacy, an embodiment of his desire to see Carleton become a more consciously creative institution. However, some students have voiced concerns that this is not the proper way for the school to spend money at a time when families are having a difficulty affording the increasing cost of higher education. Such investments are made in lieu of others that potentially have more immediate and tangible effects. These are the types of hard decisions that Poskanzer will face.

Another crucial issue facing the community is the lack of diversity. During New Student Week last fall, there was a greater effort than ever before to address diversity on campus with the incoming class. For the first time, there was a day devoted to diversity training, special speakers were brought in and the conversation continued in NSW groups throughout the week. Unfortunately, the issue seems to have fallen to the wayside. The fact still remains that Carleton has a very poor record of graduating minority students. The Campus Climate Survey in 2008 demonstrated that we, as a school, have a long way to come in creating an atmosphere in which students of all backgrounds can succeed. Addressing this issue should be at the top of Poskanzer’s list. This is a great opportunity to make diversity an integral part of the ongoing conversation about how we can improve Carleton.

Most importantly, our incoming president must begin preparing for his Halloween costume and the next great April’s Fool prank. As an high-profile member of the community, Poskanzer needs to maintain his visibility and approachability. President Oden achieved this by going on runs through the Arb, leading an off-campus trip and teaching fly fishing courses.  Similarly, Poskanzer should bring his own passions to Carleton and be excited to share them. We are excited to share our school with you.

– The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian editors.

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