Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Inaccessibility of trustees disappoints

<u know me at all (or even if you don’t) you’d know that I feel very strongly and am very upset about the Pre-Frosh Trip issue. Now, don’t worry – I’m not going to go back into this; I voiced my points pretty clearly last week. However, this time around, I want to talk about something else: the Trustees.

Sure, the Trustees are really busy. I understand that. I understand that they have a lot of important issues to talk about because they’re only on campus once a term (if even that, I don’t actually know). They split up into their committees, and they have their meetings, and I know that they have the college’s best interest at heart.

But what about the students?

When I first discovered what was happening with the Pre-Frosh Trips, I sent a lot of e-mails and made a lot of phone calls, the idea being that I’d somehow get an audience with the Trustees. It didn’t take long to find out, though, that that was a pipe dream; there was no way that I was going to be able to meet with the Trustees. They were just too busy with their important business to be bothered with a measly student.

Instead, I was advised that I should let CSA know of my concerns, because CSA had twenty minutes (I think) with the Trustees for the first time ever. And don’t get me wrong, nothing against CSA – I definitely respect what they do and what they stand for, but they don’t always stand for everyone (what I mean is this: I strongly disagree that the Pre-Frosh Trips should not have been canceled, but not everybody agrees with me; I understand this, and I respect the other opinions, especially since not everyone was able to go on a trip. However, having coordinated the Pre-Frosh Trips for my summer job, I believe that I have a better viewpoint than anyone else on how beneficial the trips are. But that is not everyone’s opinion, and it’s not necessarily CSA’s opinion – and even if it was, how do they best represent both sides of the issue? I guess what I’m trying to say is that in representing the middle, which is what the CSA should probably do, they don’t represent MY opinion, even though I feel strongly that I am something close to an authority on the subject. And for this reason I asked for my own audience with the Trustees).

Perhaps this has been an issue in the past. Perhaps people were asking the Trustees to do the very same thing that I’m asking right here, and perhaps that was their solution – to give twenty minutes to the CSA – and then pat themselves on the back, assured that they were now hearing the concerns of the Carleton student body. And again, I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate that the CSA brought some of our concerns to the Trustees, but, more than that, I feel that issues of the student body are more diverse than those presented by the CSA. And the Trustees should be willing to hear those issues, and they should make themselves accessible to have conversations and discussions with us. Are the students not the heart of this campus? Are our issues not some of the most important? Should we not be consulted on decisions made about our campus, and about our future?

I will admit that in recent weeks I have lost a lot of faith in this college. I hate to say it, but these days

I find myself comparing the administration of the college to the administration of Richard Nixon. Making decisions behind closed doors. Having meetings inaccessible to students. That’s a comparison I really shouldn’t have to make.

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