The key issue of last week’s Student Government [SG] meeting was the closure of the International Studies [INS] Department, and the consequences thereof.
Senior Senator Christian Wilson and President of the International Studies Students Association Andrea Echavarria co-authored “A Resolution Concerning the Dissolution of the International Studies Program.”
The resolution advocated the official notification to students of the dissolution of the program.
Roughly 40 INS students, both undergraduate and graduate, turned up at the SG meeting, each bringing their own perspective to the table. Reactions varied from confusion to betrayal.
“We’ve been lied to too many times to take word or good will seriously,” Adele Bagley, junior and INS student, said.
Never before had students illustrated such a plea for help and support from SG, and the majority of Senators handled the issue well.
Student presence illustrated that the claim of “lack of interest in International Studies” was unfounded.
Several senators expressed that they were “disgusted” by the way the situation had been handled and felt a lack of respect was shown to students by the administration.
“Students finding out the fate of their academic future from a student flyer is shameful on the part of the administration,” Wilson said. “The lack of communication between students and administrators is deplorable.”
With a deficiency of information available at the time, many students were confused by the unclear distinction between official information and rumor.
The resolution was passed unanimously with only one abstention, IFC Senator Scott Rubenstein.
At least three non-INS student senators were present at the INS official meeting the following evening to show their support for their constituents affected by the decision.
The issue is now clearly focused on the future. What is the fate of the current INS students? How will promises made be policed? And how will students be protected in the future?
“The reason I authored and fought for a passage of a resolution condemning the administration for this action is to make sure this sort of misleading circumstance never happens again,” Wilson said.
The Hurricane will continue to follow this issue as more details become available.
For more information visit the UM Department of International Studies website at http://www.as.miami.edu/international-studies/
Amy S. Lawrence can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.