Letter to the Editor: Students React

Posted on 01 May 2013 by admin

‘Students have a right to know why Wasson is resigning.’

Dear Editor,

I think students have a right to know why Wasson is resigning. STLCC may have been paying his salary, but ultimately he worked for the students, he was our president – I think the students should expect as much transparency as (legally) possible; his responsibility was to us just as much as the school.

There is only one person that was responsible for the attack on Blythe Grupe and that was her attacker.

It is still not entirely clear to students who was responsible for the decisions that were made in handling the situation – and that… I think is a big problem. This sort of vagueness ensures the people responsible won’t be held accountable, and runs the risk of the wrong people being held accountable.

Hypothetically, Wasson could easily be resigning because he knew the right way to handle the situation, but wasn’t allowed to do so – his resignation sheds no light on who is responsible for how the situation was handled.

Where publicly saving face for the college is concerned, accepting the resignation of the president after a mismanaged crisis looks good rhetorically, but accepting the resignation of people that could be part of the solution, when there is no evidence they were the source of the problem, is ridiculously backwards; instituting interim leadership and new leadership at a time when the campus needs to move forward to handle the situation effectively sounds like more mismanagement of the situation to me.

As far as I can tell from the media coverage both on campus and off, the main criticisms concerning the attack on Grupe was that there wasn’t a plan in place to handle such a situation (which given Meramec’s long-running track record of being a safe school is perhaps understandable, but easily fixed), and the great delay in time notifying the students of the attack (and I’m sure there were a number of people involved in making that call).

Dorsey’s explanation that they wanted to take the necessary steps to protect the judicial rights of Grupe by having a thorough investigation and wanting to know what was going on are all reasonable excuses (and I think protecting Grupe’s legal rights against the person responsible for attacking her is worthy of applause), but all that needed to be said initially was that there had been an attack, the suspect had been apprehended and taken into custody by police and that students will be kept informed as information becomes available. I don’t know if there was red tape standing between administration and students, but in times of crisis, red tape must be thrown aside if it prevents administration from taking necessary and appropriate actions to benefit the students/school.

Despite there not being an official plan to handle the situation, the actions of the teacher and campus police did prevent the situation from running whatever horrible course it might have run; that much of Dorsey’s letter is legitimate.

 

Jacob Hight

Student

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