Student Senate’s letter to the student body concerning commencement

To the Millersville University Student Body,

As we all know, the choice of the 2013 Spring Undergraduate Commencement speaker has been a hot topic around campus and within the Millersville community. Students have been invited to come to our Student Senate meetings to speak with us and let us know their feelings on the situation. We thank those students and MU community members who attended and shared their thoughts with us. In response to student opinion, the Senate has been working hard to obtain answers to questions that have been posed, as well as initiate change for the future. The Student Senate has drafted and implemented an action plan to address these concerns for both the procedure taken to select the commencement speaker and the policies of Governor Corbett and his administration regarding public higher education.
First, we sent a letter to the current administration asking that the selection process of how commencement speakers are chosen be altered to include more student opinion. We believe that if the students have a chance to have a voice in choosing their own commencement speaker, situations like the one we are currently facing could be avoided. The response that we have been sent from Dr. Anderson speaks of the Commencement Speaker Selection Committee to be guaranteed to meet each year, at least once and the possibility of expanding student representation on this committee. The Student Senate plans on following up this response with suggestions of how to best allow the graduating class’ voice to be heard.
Second, the Student Senate is planning to facilitate a silent demonstration of dissent during the 2013 Spring Undergraduate Commencement for those graduating seniors and/or their families who wish to participate. By providing a visual symbol of dissent, those who wish can show their protest during commencement, without disrupting the ceremony for the other graduates or their families. The Student Senate with the assistance of some students has selected a symbol which is a gold armband. The Student Senate will be distributing the armbands to those who sign the corresponding “Declaration of Dissent.” This declaration is available in the Student Senate office (SMC 118F) as well as potentially an online format (details to come). The “Declaration of Dissent” shows the displeasure and disagreement with the policies of the Governor and his administration regarding public higher education as well as Millersville University’s procedure concerning the selection of the 2013 Undergraduate Commencement Speaker.
Finally, the Student Senate in the future would like to host a Millersville University Pride campaign to showcase our students and our alumni. This campaign is still underdevelopment and more details will be released as they become available.
We, as your Student Senate, are here for you and to voice your concerns, as well as to try to find the best course of action on how to deal with concerns presented to us while maintaining open channels of communication. Having a good working relationship with both the students and the administration is the key to having a successful relationship and implementing positive change. If you have anything that you would like us to address, on the topic of 2013 Undergraduate Commencement or another subject, please feel free to contact us. We hold our weekly meetings at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings in SMC room 118, we can be contacted at villestudentsenate@gmail.com, and our office is located in SMC room 118F.
We thank you for your support and hope to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Millersville University Student Senate