Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: SGA’s position on proposed merger explained 

Fellow Students,

As promised, the mission of this Student Government is and always has been to deliver the most appropriate amount of transparency possible to the people whom we solely represent: the student body. We feel that it is important to keep you informed of any and all decisions made by your representatives, and now is an opportune moment to explain the conclusion in which we have reached in light of recent events that affect you. Just recently, the administration here at West Liberty University has proposed an academic realignment to merge the College of Fine Arts and Communications, the College of Liberal Arts, and the School of Professional Studies. This proposed academic realignment comes as an effort to conserve our budget and to conserve money currently being spent in keeping these colleges separate. Reason being for preserving this money comes as a result of a continuing decrease of funding towards institutions of higher education by the state government of West Virginia, creating more difficulty in maintaining and updating the infrastructure of learning environments conducive to a student’s success both inside and outside of the classroom. While I do understand the administrative position on this issue and do see where West Liberty would financially benefit from the academic realignment, I also understand the student perspective and hold their wishes, concerns, and opinions closest to heart.

Upon releasing a poll for the student body to participate in, 78% of the students questioned stated that they were against the realignment of these colleges for multiple reasons. When interacting with both students and faculty heavily involved with all three of these colleges, they stressed the importance of keeping these colleges separate for reasons they felt contributed to the uniqueness and success of these colleges individually. One reason included the concept of morale—a mindset and quality that is essential in maintaining student success. Students absolutely need a platform of identity, and the recognition that each program is different, enabling students of many rare talents to succeed in these colleges. Another reason included the concept that a realignment of these colleges would create an atmosphere that is extremely too broad for only one Dean to preside over. A dean in one department may not have a full understanding or all the knowledge in understanding what it takes for specific programs to succeed. Our third reason for voting against the academic realignment of these colleges, and possibly foremost, is the fact that this academic realignment does not benefit the students in any way whatsoever, and students have had very limited input in the making of this decision. While I am absolutely aware and do agree with being financially conservative especially in a state where funding for higher education is hard to come by, it is also important to remember that financial situations do not exceed the well-being and the betterment of the student body. We, serving as your Student Government, do not foresee the student benefit from combining these colleges, and do not see a true purpose in merging these colleges. Should these colleges merge as a result of the Board of Governors vote, the Student Government will push for updating technology within the classroom.

I represent you, your voice, your opinion, your objections, and your best interest. The 78% to 22% vote from the student body has proven to me that the students here at West Liberty do not wish to see an academic realignment of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Professional Studies for a variety of reasons, including the fact that students do not directly benefit from this decision, one Dean may not understand the true interests of all of these programs combined into one college, and the lack of communication between the administration and the student body. On November 30, at our next Board of Governors meeting, your voice will be heard.

– Reid Boden, SGA President 

**The views and opinions expressed DO NOT necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Trumpet or The Trumpet Online.

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