Fighting for our ‘Simpson Experience’

Fighting for our 'Simpson Experience'

by Steven RamseyGuest Columnist

Just as I started to get settled into being a student at Simpson College, things started changing. Changing in such a manner that I’m not sure the institution I visited is the same institution that I am currently married to.

As we are moving toward this change, I am one who firmly believes that, as students, we should mold this change how we see fit.

Our experience is in danger due to the economy, and more importantly, how the administration is attempting to deal with it. I am not ignorant to what a bad economy can mean for Simpson College. When there is less money to go around, then the institution must be ready to make certain decisions: what to keep and what to cut. For the most part, I believe the college’s planned response to the nose-diving economy seemed quite reasonable.

When President Byrd and his administration came to the Student Government Association about a month ago, he showed us the model of what their plan is if the economy gets worse. They put a huge emphasis on “if” to reassure us that nothing is set in stone. For the most part it seemed to be a very impressive response.

At the same time, the administration let some great professors on campus know that their contracts were not promised to them next year. I can partially understand why this might be a necessary step. However, after I asked about some specifics, they danced around my questions like contestants on MTV’s “Americas Best Dance Crew.”

As a simple student of Simpson College, I expect something very simple. If I ask a question about what an institution is doing with my money, I expect a clear answer. When I ask what the criteria was for potentially letting these professors go, I do not expect to be spoken down to as I was.

Contrary to popular belief, students at this institution are not children. Students are young adults who will inherit this world. We are paying Simpson College for a service: our education. As consumers in the educational free market, I would hope that students’ voices are heard and taken into account.

When numerous students stand up and say they would like to keep certain professors around, like Daryl Sasser, I believe Simpson College and its administration should listen.

Not only should students’ voices be heard in the decision to keep certain professors, but I’m sure the administration has heard the cries of students about the dining services. I am a part of the food committee, and have heard that a new contract should be approved by 2010. This is an area where Simpson College desperately needs student input.

This subcommittee of SGA was formed last semester to address matters concerning dining services and the cafeteria. All students are welcome to participate.

As students, we have power beyond measure at this institution.

We are not paying $34,000 for a compromised experience.

In this time of economic despair, it is even more necessary for us as students to stand up and fight for what we believe our experience should be. It is not unreasonable to want to keep great professors here at Simpson College.

It is not impossible to alter the dining services on campus for the betterment of students.

Our Simpson Experience is changing, whether we want it to or not. What I am proposing is that we fight to make it change in our favor. Write a letter, send an e-mail, talk to the administration, create a buzz, call alumni, rouse your fellow students and fight for our Simpson Experience.