February 28, 2013
Re: Dancing on the edge: Dance Department faces potential dissolution
I am writing this to express how dismayed I was after reading last week’s front page Spec. story (Dance Department Faces Potential Dissolution). Secret ballot? The fate of an entire academic department was determined in secret, with absolutely no student input?
Even though I am not a part of the Dance Department and have never taken a dance class, this revelation left me unsettled. This decision, combined with the decision to deny Professor Ted Lehmann tenure after noticeable (and rare) student protest, sets a precedent on the Hill that I find particularly troubling.
As a Hamiltonian, I feel that student voices are being completely ignored during these important decisions. I have read past Spec issues in which administrators such as Dean Reynolds have stated that these decisions are very complex, and I also acknowledge their complexity, but as far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t cut it.
We need to remember that Hamilton is primarily made and paid for by students, not faculty or administrators. Therefore students or representatives from the student body should have actual non-symbolic power in deciding important issues such as the status of academic departments or professorial tenure. It seems only right to me.
I hope and think other Hamiltonians feel the same way I do.