Insight Into UMass Amherst’s Struggles

Over at GradNews, you can get an in depth look at the battles still being fought at my almer mater over matters of diversity and student power.  Of particular interest is Uri’s freedom of information act lawsuit against UMass and the administrations efforts to undermine the student research and advocacy group SCERA.  It does not look like the blog is being actively updated, but I hope Jeff and Uri continue to write about the absurdity that is the University’s actions against its own student body.

Looking back at my old school, I am reminded of a teacher who used to joke that every year he watched the value of his degree plummet (he was referring to us).  But as I watch my old school I can’t help but wonder what it will mean to say “I graduated from UMass” 10, 20 years from now.   While I was there Massachusetts made it clear that between the state college system and the private universities, there wasn’t a place for a robust yet affordable higher education.  My school underwent severe budget cuts, losing or crippling entire departments, all while fees and tuition skyrocketed.  Yet at the same time there was a vital, powerful current of political activism and study at the university, one that powered many actions to protect and preserve the excellence of the institution and its value to students and the larger community.

So it is with increasing sadness that I watch the administration continue to attack and weaken the greatest asset it has, and its strongest chance of surviving in a meaningful way: A diverse and politically active student body.


One Response

  1. There is no profit in having politically enlightened people growing up around a very comfortable insider organization (politics as usual). Unfortunately for any politically diverse school there is no incentive to fund it with corporate money for fear the students won’t tow the line.

    I spent a week in Umass Amherst one night!!!!!

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