LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Life or Money? CMU is digging itself into a moral hole


When considering what the administration does on this campus leaves several to scratch their heads and wonder. I have several times questioned the actions and choices that the Central Michigan University administration makes. I do not have a degree in administration, but in my short time at CMU in the graduate program, I have served as a student representative on the Academic Senate and the Academic Senate executive board. 

It is interesting to note that the CMU administration does try to do what it thinks is best for the students. But do they really take into account what students are thinking or feeling on campus? Without getting into my battle on the destruction of the humanities left by past administrators, last Monday showed a lack of respect to the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.  

There were several tweets out by a faculty and Academic Senate member in the meteorology program about his discontent with CMU not cancelling Sunday evening or if they didn't cancel Monday that he would raise this question at the Academic Senate meeting. On that Sunday before, there was a Twitter announcement from CMU about the overnight parking concerning the weather. That should not have been their first concern. The first concern and tweet should have been about acknowledging and stating that students and faculty should drive with caution and please take the weather into consideration. I did not have any Monday classes, but I wanted to keep my eye open, as did my girlfriend and several friends at CMU.  

I went to Northern Michigan University for my undergraduate we got storms just like this or worse. They cancelled classes when the weather was like this. Why? A large percentage of NMU students were commuters. Same as CMU. They did not always cancel the night before, but often by 6 a.m. we were notified that the weather was bad. Here at CMU, we found out
at roughly 9 a.m. that they closed the campus because of the weather. Here is the problem with that: The weather was not going to let up and only was forecasted to get worse. Ferris State University, being only about a 50 minute drive from Mount Pleasant, had closed at an acceptable time. By acceptable, they took into account the commuters that have to drive a distance to get to their classes.  If I was living in Midland and left at 8:15 a.m. only to arrive at CMU at about 9 a.m. to receive a cancellation, I would not be happy.  

The Facebook message that CMU had posted on Monday at 12:13 p.m., stating about the frustrations from students, faculty and staff, did not help the administration. When they stated, “We began evaluating the weather last night and our first conversation this morning was at 4:45 a.m. At that point, the snow had not started. Considering our students have paid for their education, we decided to keep the university open, knowing we would continue to evaluate,” put money over lives. They ignored the main aspect of a student’s education and that is their safety and health. A student or faculty member could have gotten seriously injured or killed because of this monetary call. 

This is a negligent act on the CMU administration and is highly disappointing. 

I am a non-funded graduate student. I pay out of pocket and loans to be here and would have rather seen the campus close to consider safety and not that I've already paid to be in class.  Money should never be the first thought. Safety should. What about this student fee that was billed to all of us to help with student needs? So far, I feel that my money is not being used for the benefit of the health and safety of my fellow colleagues. What I want to see is a formal apology and an acknowledgment that the administration was wrong in the decisions they made and to really focus and examine themselves for that the future of this campus focuses on safety not money.   

—Jonathan P. Korpi

Graduate Student, Department of History and former SGA Senator and Academic Senator at CMU