After a long semester, with everyone nervously anticipating the results of the vitalization project, Workgroups have finally posted their recommendations online for the campus to see.
While the last thing the News staff wants to do is spread fear, as journalists we also have the responsibility to inform people. Ignoring unpleasant truths in the recommendations will not make them go away. Yes, the changes on the horizon are scary and can make the faculty, staff and students unsure of the future.
That is why it is so imperative everyone has their say and lets those who need to hear what they think of these changes.
If there is a recommendation you do not like, do not take it out on the Workgroup members. Use your voice to let the administration, who make the final decisions, hear you.
It is university officials who will end up having the say in the long run, who will decide what to implement when and whether or not there will be further implementations not originally recommended by the Workgroups. Send emails and letters, but most importantly let the people in charge know what you like and do not like about these recommendations.
Do not hold back with how you feel about these changes. If something is happening to your program, service or department that you think might be detrimental or harm people in the long run, speak up. Now is not the time to be coy or fearful.
Workgroup no. 1 through no. 6’s jobs may be done, but that does not let the campus off the hook. It is up to everyone who cares about this campus and the community of people who live and work here to make sure the things they love about this university are protected.
Perhaps most importantly, keep the administration accountable. They claim that the changes will be done in a contractually viable way; make sure that actually happens. There are rules they have to follow and procedures that must be done. Make sure it happens openly and transparently.
These are, for now, only recommendations. Nothing has been set in stone yet. However, these recommendations still hold weight for all areas of the campus.
It is imperative everyone looks at these recommendations and takes them seriously. Even if you have not been to any Workgroup meetings or have not been following the coverage of it, even if this is the first time you see the words “vitalization project,” you need to read the Workgroup’s report.
These recommendations could mean real changes in the coming months and years. They could change the face of Eastern as we know it.