Letter to the Editor

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

I’m posting a letter to the editor I wrote this morning, which I sent to The Forum, The Advocate (MSUM student-run newspaper), and High Plains Reader, a local alternative newspaper. Note that I did not say anything about how the administration really f*cked up this time nor did I share any literary allusions, which I did think about doing. The simplest one was referring to the Kafkaesque, but I left it out. I’m sharing it just in case no one publishes it:

As a doctoral student in an English program, I understand the importance of story. Story carries weight in significance, meaning, and the people that inhabit that story. As readers of a story, we start to identify with characters and their burdens and, in a well-written story, we start to see ourselves in those characters, in where the story takes place. For me, my years as an undergraduate at Minnesota State University Moorhead are a story because it carries weight for me in meaning, people, and place.

While pursuing my education, I have attended a number of universities, but no other university has meant as much to me as MSUM. Reading the news about the budget problems and seeing professors who have taught me the importance of story suffer because of poor administrative management hits hard. I am no longer a student or employee at MSUM, but I still feel connected to the community at MSUM; I want everyone at MSUM to know that alums have not forgotten them.

What happened to many of the liberal arts programs, and what could still happen to many liberal arts professors and programs, is more than unfortunate. As a liberal arts university, MSUM has a mission to offer students strong liberal arts programs and effective teaching from professors. With the potential cuts to the liberal arts, that mission has been compromised. The recent cuts have caused MSUM to lose an essential part of its story, and while the university may continue to thrive, there is an irreparable sense of loss.

Please note that I am uncharacteristically not-snarky in this. I think that is an important thing you should take away from it.

I will try and shut up about Minnesota State University Moorhead for a while now, but also note I will not make any promises if I hear of something really stupid and outrageous that administration did to the people I care about. I think I may have already made it on some shit lists, but I am OK with that. I actually see that as a term of endearment.

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