Opining for the Connecticut College Voice

  • In college, I was mostly a columnist. Some articles criticized high bookstore prices, shoddy campus facilities, and President Gaudiani (see below.)
  • I wrote one series which found that women were no longer involve in student government, even though the college had been single-sex for 61 years. The pieces helped spark some students to open a new women's center on campus.
  • After college, I almost took a job writing obituaries for Rhode Island's Westerly Sun, but decided to try my luck in at finding a job in Washington, DC.
A college mug shot unrelated to the news business

An issue of the College Voice:

Two weekends ago, the trustees approved the completed version of the 3/2 plan for implementation next year. As President Gaudiani heads into the halfway point of her first year, she will soon discover that although the 3/2 itself is a closed issue, she will have to deal with the ramifications that still linger as a result of the manner and haste in which it was proposed. There are three major legacies of the 3/2 plan which will have future consequences that will affect the relationship between the President and the college community.

The answers to these questions do not only concern students, but they affect the entire campus because this process illustrates how vital issues are being addressed. Throughout the year, decisions by President Gaudiani have been made in a sporadic, inconsistent manner which makes it seem like she is manipulating normal channels. Furthermore, the President seems to make her decisions without consulting the restof the college community which has divided the campus into interest groups who are foreed to woo her to obtain any small bit of influence. The second legacy of the decision to implement 3/2 has been that faculty/student tensions have arisen for the first time in recent years as each group competes against each other to reach the President's elusive ears. The ensuing controversy over the feasibility of 3/2 has made a sham of the feelings of community that President Gaudiani has strived to create.

The final legacy of 3/2 involves the future of the plan itself, and thus, is perhaps the most serious. To complete a major undertaking such as instituting a comprehensive realignment of the teaching requirements of professors involves a great deal of money. Though both faculty and students worked hard to ensure that the plan wouldn't have adverse effects on class size and the number of class offerings, the only mystery of the viability of the program concerns the availability of the necessary funds. For the program's first year, the President is fortunate that excess monies remained in an under-utilized maintenance account. But funding sources are as yet undefined for the following years. Was rushing headstrong into 3/2 before raising adequate long term funding worth the possible consequences of altering, or even aborting, the program in two years? Was President Gaudiani's "don't worry, be happy" style of leadership pragmatic?

The brouhaha over 3/2 epitomized President Gaudiani's tenure. Sectors of the community have been alienated, while additional, serious problems have been created that the President will have to rectify throughout the remainder of the year. In the September issue of Connecticut magazine, President Gaudiani was quoted as saying, "I will not administer, I will not manaage, I will lead." Judging fiom her actions thus far, the college community can only have faith and hope that we are not being led like lemmings into the sea.

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