Recently, the office of President Horace Mitchell circulated a memorandum to students concerning issues involving the possible faculty strike in April.
What is heinous in this memo is the fact that the administration is attempting to bully away the free speech rights of teachers.
“Classroom time cannot and should not be used by faculty to discuss issues related to the strike.”
Let that sink in.
Any abridgment of the First Amendment is outright manipulative, whether you are painted in a bad light or not.
Strike aside, if the administration is truly for their students and faculty, these types of misleading and calculated ploys must end now.
This precarious memo gives four reminders: students cannot be compelled to take any sides on the issue, students cannot be compelled to participate in the strike for a grade, faculty may not bar access to any services of the campus and faculty are not allowed to speak of the strike on company time.
This is also restricting our rights as students. We can choose to take a side if we want. It’s our right to do so just as it is our right to listen to what faculty have to say about the strike.
Additionally, the memo purports that things will “be as they usually are” in not so many words.
This has only served to confound students and teachers alike, creating disconnect between what is the actuality of events that will take place.
The memo outlines what students and faculty should do in the current situation. It makes a point to bold the statement that the school will remain open during the strike.
This is merely to confuse students and most likely faculty as well. There are many times during the year when the campus is open and no classes are being held.
Technically, the campus is open during some parts of the winter months before classes resume. Students are not in classes learning, but the campus is open.
This type of tactic to obscure the nature of what could transpire is above the Office of the President and out of character for an official of a university.