Avoid backlash by talking to students

Last week The Miami Hurricane editorial staff dreamt that there were going to be massive housing changes that would reverse the priority process and reserve the towers and two floors of Mahoney for freshmen.

That was a dream right? It’s hard to tell when the university announces drastic changes, then reverses them the following week.

Everyone is allowed to make mistakes. Acknowledging a mistake and working to fix it is laudable and that’s exactly what the university is doing right now. It’s the process that led to the mistake that is not so worthy of praise.

Last semester, the administration approached two top Student Government members and discussed the initial proposed housing changes and to get feedback. Still, Student Government never voted for approval of the housing changes. It never went to the SG Senate.

Many other students, such as resident assistants who have an important role in the housing process, were not given an opportunity to give their input at all. The announcement came as a surprise to everyone who wasn’t in the know.

But, hey, it’s not like anything similar has happened before, right? Oh, wait. It has. Last year, university administrators decided, without even consulting a single student, to in-state deferred recruitment in fall 2008. At least this time the administration listened to the feedback and decided to “take a step back.”

We’re not implying the adminstration doesn’t care about the students, but they shouldn’t merely think about the students in formulating these decisions – they should consult with the students. And that’s what’s happening now.

Maybe the university will do that the next time before saying, “This is what we’re doing…” and prevent such backlash.