By KATIE KLIMACEK
Since the start of the semester, I have been surrounded by signs that read “There’s no place like Saint Rose” and “Home. Of what college should be,” as I drive into the parking lot oof the Hearst building.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t laugh out loud the first time I saw the new rebranding of the College. After all of the mayhem and commotion that had happened fall of 2016, I saw it as the College trying to sweep everything that had happened under the rug.
With the exception of a witty opinion piece I wrote about the college keeping gym classes after cutting 28 majors, I have kept my opinions about the College and the way it is being run out of the paper and to myself and a few close colleagues.
Yet after the announcement that the School of Arts and Humanities Dean, Dr. Leroy Bynum, was leaving from the college and interim Provost Dr. Barbara Schirmer “concluded her service” at the college six weeks prior to her contract ending, I found myself frustrated and annoyed.
Why was it that these two upper administrators, along with a handful of others, were leaving the college? Some would look at it and say it’s coincidental, I however look at it and say it’s sketchy.
Throughout my four years at the college, I have been asked numerous times how I like Saint Rose, and just like my schedule each semester, my answer has changed with the years.
When Carolyn Stefanco was named the next president of Saint Rose, I remained satisfied with the College. I was pleased that we had a female president leading the school and was presented with the image of a individual who had the potential to lift up my institution, give the community a boost and make the college experience enjoyable for everyone involved.
Unfortunately that feeling of optimism did not last very long.
Since the commotion of fall 2016, my contentment for the College and the people who run it has since changed.
This time those who ask me about my like for the school are met with “as a place to meet wonderful professors, forge lasting relationships with colleagues, and gain hands-on experience, it’s great. As an institution of higher education, it’s awful.”
Since everything that has happened at the College since Stefanco being named president, I as a student get the impression that no one is willing to take responsibility for their actions.
The financial issues at the College were not Stefanco’s fault, but the way things have been dealt with since have been her responsibility.
I understand that as a business, there is the want to make it look as appealing and favorable for prospective students as possible.
However, if one neglects to point out and take responsibility for all of the drawbacks that have occurred in recent semesters, then it’s hard for both current and future students to have faith and trust within the institution.
I’m not suggestion the administration walk out onto Madison Ave and start announcing every last detail about the college’s misfortune throughout the last few years.
What I am suggesting is that the administration, namely Stefanco, admit that the morale of the College has substantially diminished.
I want it to be recognized and acknowledged that students are being affected more than the administration would like to think. I would like for Stefanco to step out of 1000 Madison Ave for once and address the college, students and faculty face-to-face instead of through a mass email or during an event where her presence is expected.
Why? Because staying in her office all day and away from to college community gives off the impression that she is hiding something and can’t face those who oppose or simply question her administration.
Walk around and talk to the students on campus and know that we are so much more than just walking money signs. Take a moment and realize that no one knows what we want or need more from the College then us.
It might not seem like it, but it’s not very hard for us to see that the College is not what it use to be three, four years ago.
President Stefanco, if you are reading this, please hear me out. If the College is going to succeed as a whole, everyone has to be on the same page. Everyone; students, faculty, staff, and administrators need to work together to lift the college up.
Look, I can sit here behind my computer screen and criticise Stefanco and the upper administrators of this college in the hopes that they will read this and be inspired by the words of a outspoken student.
However the reality is that she will probably not even read this. In the chance that she or someone else in 1000 Madison Ave reads it, I’m sure it will be meet with backlash, more dislike towards the paper, or just increased distrust towards those who surround her.
But that is not the reason why I am writing this article. I am writing it to let Stefanco know: myself and others want to like you. We want to see you succeed in taking the College out of debt and bring it to new heights. We want to see the College succeed and grow as an institution. But that can’t happen if you are sitting in your office, shades drawn and closed off from the rest of the campus world
I say I don’t like the College as an institution, that I don’t care what happens to it after I graduate. Harsh, I know.
Who knows,—-though, maybe once I leave and am away from all the hushed rumors and petty politics of the college, I will come to love St. Rose again, like I once did.