The Bullet reported in an article this week that the Student Government Association won student representation on the administrative budget reallocation committee. The Bullet views this as a big win for students and commends the SGA on a job well done thus far.
However, there is still much more work to be done on this front. Both the administrative and academic committees will make decisions that affect the students directly and can alter the value of their degrees. Two students on the administrative committee are nice, but it is not the committee that will most affects students.
While faculty and student interests may be similarly aligned, they are not the same. The Bullet considers it very suspect that so many of the University of Mary Washington administrators are unwilling to allow student representation in on the aspect of the budget cut process that will most affect them.
This school has spent millions of dollars teaching its students how to think critically and strategically in both the long and short term. It is embarrassing that UMW does not think its students are capable of having valid input when it comes to which programs are going to be cut by the committees.
The benefit of student representation on the academic committee should be clear to the administration. With more student representation, students will see the decisions the committee reaches as more legitimate. While they may not be thrilled with the end result, they will most likely respect the decision.
Instead, the administration is opening itself to unnecessary criticism and more student protests.
The University wants to court new students. However, why should any of the current students recommend UMW to incoming freshmen if they are dissatisfied with what the school is doing? A personal endorsement from satisfied customers is more valuable than any marketing campaign UMW could spend its money on.