Letter to the Editor: Students are discouraged, morale is low, it's time for changes at CMU
Thirteen dollars an hour is the maximum amount of money an on-campus student worker can make.
There are few jobs that even pay that high – and with the 20-hour workweek cap – the max a student can make is $260 a week before taxes.
Room and board rates will be raised three percent next year for students who are required to live on campus for at least two years. Residence hall restaurants are closed on weekends, face staffing issues, and serve inedible food after students paid thousands of dollars for otherwise.
Despite students tirelessly advocating for changes to Campus Dining, their struggles have repeatedly been ignored.
The Student Food Pantry, which serves on and off-campus students facing food insecurity, cannot keep food on the shelves because the demand for food is so high. Moreover, their space is inaccessible and can barely store enough food as it is.
Faculty are being laid off. Departments are being cut, leaving a shell of what they once were. Our majors and minors are being eliminated and our programs are losing accreditation.
The university is going through the worst enrollment decline in the state - unlike anything CMU has ever seen.
We students are worried about whether this university will be around in the next 10 years.
Despite all of this, despite the struggles that students have made loud and clear, a man who already makes close to a half-million dollars per year was awarded a $75,000 bonus and a $35,000 raise to his base salary.
We don’t know what else needs to be said. Something needs to change.
We are tired of miscommunication, lack of transparency, and limited shared governance.
We are frustrated and upset about the consistent tone-deaf responses we are receiving from our Board of Trustees and our president.
Above all, we are tired of the fact that the Board of Trustees and top university officials will not acknowledge that students are not happy here.
More proactive steps need to be taken to address the wrongs of the past year and the struggles our campus community is facing.
The Board of Trustees needs to make this university a place where students are proud to attend.
For that to happen, the university's priorities need to be reevaluated.
Although new residence halls and added campus amenities might be assets to highlight to prospective students on campus tours, it feels like the university doesn’t want to improve the real reason students go to college—to get an affordable, quality higher education.
The Board of Trustees is acting like nothing is wrong and this makes us feel unheard and unseen.
Although we acknowledge that a raise and one-time bonus for Davies isn’t enough money to fix all the troubles facing our campus, it feels wrong that while all these things are going on our leader is being rewarded for inefficiency.
To be clear, we love this campus. We want to fight to make it a place of learning, opportunity, excitement, and happiness.
However, our hope is dwindling. CMU will not survive if we don't bring quality education back to the center of the conversation.
After all, just saying “we do student success,” will not fix a campus culture where students are not set up to succeed.
A group of concerned student leaders,
Kate Ellison, Rafael Garza, Lauren Hull, Taylor Idema, Addison Hoekstra, Aria Segura, Aubre Thomas, and Maddie Thomas.