Editorial: In the shadow of the statue: Silence on the administrative front

With the advent of the Griffin statue and the following debates among students regarding its figurative place on campus (this paper is sure that a debate regarding its literal place will happen as well), students have brought forth a number of concerns regarding amenities it feels that are either subpar or nonexistent at Canisius. A number of students have pointed towards finishing Science Hall, improving the Wi-Fi, increasing the number of adjunct faculty members, and others.

While Undergraduate Student Association officials work to answer any questions regarding the statue, this paper sees a bigger issue lurking in the background: the complaints about capital improvements that students feel need to be made. Though the administration is in support of the statue, the majority of the alternative improvements suggested are ones that can only be made by administration and funds coming from the capital budget rather from undergraduate student tax dollars. However, given that many of these issues are longstanding, this paper is curious as to whether or not administration hears students’ complaints. Even the few faculty members chiming in on the statue debate have pointed to similar problems on campus.

There is a plan to update the Wi-Fi by the end of the year, but this does not help current students who need to the wireless internet, especially as former Griffin editor and Canisius President John J. Hurley has pointed toward online classes in some of his remarks regarding the academic structure. Additionally, with many professors utilizing Desire2Learn for its discussion element (though just as many students are likely less fond of this) and for posting various forms of content, Wi-Fi has become a crucial element of any college experience. When ResNet went down in the dorms last weekend, many students were forced to the library, and while the newly renovated space is a good place to study, people shouldn’t be forced from their best study place.

Science Hall is obviously an issue of much discontent as each class of students currently attending Canisius (and several before) was likely told that the building would be finished before their graduation. Such a promise has turned from naive to false as time has worn on, and students’ voices have come together to say that they would like to see that project finished. If not possible, this paper believes that students would like to see at least an update regarding the state of the building and, perhaps, some realistic view of its finish date.

It’s no secret that professors are underpaid, and that budget cuts have caused a degree of tension in all departments across campus, and students are feeling this tension as their professors, particularly adjuncts, are concerned about losing their positions here. Many students have adjuncts in class, and their comments regarding the statue have lent themselves to a greater dialogue regarding the place of adjuncts on a college campus. Even though many institutions, including our Jesuit counterparts, have encountered financial hardship, and though this paper recognizes and respects the College’s perseverance, it also suggests that it be aware of the effect such issues are having on students.

Again, these are but a few of the suggestions that students have volleyed at USA representatives as replacements for the Griffin statue, but because the contingency money cannot go to such projects. This paper sees that the torch has now been passed to the administration in order to see if they will respond and address the numerous concerns raised by students on such capital issues. As students consider the concerns that they are raising to USA and their desire for more forthrightness (if that is the case), they should also be aware of the duty owed to them by administration. The College’s leadership each excels at their own tasks, but this paper believes that just as much forthrightness is owed to the students from administration.

USA representatives have sought to inform students about the reasoning behind the statue, especially over the past few days, and while there is much controversy about the timeline of such education, it can be argued that administration should take a page from their book, giving students a much more transparent look at the state of the College and updates as they occur on projects that are going to influence students. Suggestions are abound at present, as students aren’t exactly quiet about their complaints.

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