In order to succeed as a community, administrators and students need to compromise this year.
By Beacon Editorial Board
Last year ended on a sour note. The Beacon, the entrenched staff of 31 UP student journalists and The Log, with its staff of 11, pitted against the administration and a seemingly unilateral decision to force out the two student groups in favor of expanding Campus Ministry into the beloved hive of student media. Now that everyone is back on campus, one word sums up how the administration ultimately responded to the social media storm from students, the blog "College Media Matters" and a column by Oregonian columnist and UP adjunct professor Steve Duin: compromise.
The Beacon applauds administration's decision to bring The Beacon and The Log into the conversation about the use of space in St. Mary's. After consulting with both groups face to face, Vice President of Operations Jim Ravelli, Vice President for Student Affairs Fr. Gerry Olinger and Vice President for Student Development Jon Donato helped broker a revised remodeling plan to accommodate The Beacon's need for meeting space and The Log's need to continue being visible to students.
That kind of spirit of compromise and community will serve everyone well this semester. With the library shut down causing a pinch on study space all over campus, compromise and patience will be key.
To succeed this year, the University needs to remember what it takes to be a community. If we are in fact a community, then the lines of communication need to be open between students and the administration. The administration needs to be attentive to the needs of us, the students who foot the bill, allowing administrators to pilot this ship that is our school, and students need to make their needs heard while knowing that temporary sacrifices must happen to complete projects like the library renovation.
Both administrators and students learned from the student media space conflict. The Beacon staff wasn't so much upset that administration was taking our office and converting it for another use as much as the way they unilaterally made the initial decision without consulting those most affected, The Beacon, The Log and their advisors. The administration (hopefully) learned that including students in decisions and compromise will result in a more content community. The situation also reminded The Beacon and The Log of the importance of standing up. We are student media and by using our voice, we helped shape a positive outcome. We truly care about the future of UP and you, the students, have to speak up when you are stepped on as well.
Current UP students are attending the University during a special time. The RISE campaign will likely meet its $175 million fundraising effort this year and the Library renovation and a new recreation center are just the first of several planned developments. Students should do their best to weigh in on how they feel about the changes coming to the University by attending public planning meetings and demanding transparency about changes on campus.
The Beacon has full confidence that the future of UP will include impressive improvements as long as the changes that come are crafted with a spirit of compromise. If administrators keep in mind the needs and desires of the student body, and students realize the constraints administrators operate under, then UP will truly be a community.