SGA President Gawronski, students want Ross to address problems of last year
Central Michigan University faculty, staff, students and administration have endured a faculty strike, a vote of no confidence and university-wide tension since the last State of the University address.
The CMU Faculty Association marched in protest the day of the 2011 State of the University Address, having been without a contract since June 30, 2011. The tumultuous fall 2011 semester began with the FA striking on the first day of classes, and ended with Academic Senate passing a vote of no confidence against University President George Ross and Provost Gary Shapiro in December. The FA finally ratified its 2011-14 contract in January after more than seven months of bargaining with the university.
Ross will give the 2012 State of the University Address at 2 p.m. Thursday in Warriner Hall’s Plachta Auditorium. The address is open to faculty, students, staff and community members, and will be streamed live online for those unable to attend.
Student Government Association President Justin Gawronski said last year was not the most positive year for CMU, and there were lessons for everyone on all sides.
Gawronski said he would like to hear Ross talk about what he learned from last year and what he has planned for this year. He said Ross has been open to increasing communication and already, shared governance has made improvements.
“President Ross seems to be on board with pretty much everything,” he said.
Some students hope the 2012 State of the University Address will give CMU an opportunity to move forward and focus on other issues.
After the disagreements between faculty and administration last year, Saginaw sophomore Marie Reimers said she hopes there will be less conflict going forward. She said she would like to hear CMU give more attention to student issues and priorities.
“I would like to see a more friendly environment between faculty and administration,” she said.
Canton senior Caitlin Pacente said she would also like to hear CMU “focus more on student concerns,” especially making college affordable. She said although she is graduating soon, the cost of tuition, books and rent are still financial hurdles for other students like her brother, Joseph Pacente, a junior at CMU.
An outdoor reception celebrating CMU’s 120th anniversary will be held after the speech in front of Warriner Hall, or in the Powers Hall Ballroom in the event of rain.
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