Yo, Administration…We’re Not Your Shoelaces

Zack Rosen

Recently, The Charger Bulletin began honoring UNH employees who have been nominated by students for various positives traits that make them some of the best staff, faculty, and administration on campus. One quality that many of these employees exhibit is a sense of fitting in with students. I don’t know about you, but it means a lot to me to see university administration walk down to Old Café for lunch and say hi to students as they’re getting their food; it’s nice to see other administrators simply listening to students and their concerns, while others are treating students like they exist.

Zack Rosen - Editor-In-Chief

Unfortunately, there are still administrators on campus that don’t do any of these things. It would certainly be inconsiderate to name names, but I can think of a couple specific people who will walk through areas of heavy student traffic, such as Bartels, and walk down the stairs while they stare at their feet. Who cares if other people are walking by, some even saying hi to them! They’ll just keep trottin’ on without looking up.

The Alumni Lounge, as many of us know, is a great location to hold meetings and events. Recently, due to construction on the expansion of Bartels, it can get a little loud in the Alumni Lounge during the middle of the day. From events that SCOPE puts on to ACJA meetings to USGA meetings, it can at times be difficult to communicate and hear everybody in that room.

Last week, when Dr. Timothy Ryan came to speak to the campus community, construction was occuring — as is expected — at the same time. But because this was an administration-sponsored event, they were able to suspend construction until the speech was over. The very thing that we students are unable to do in the middle of loud USGA meetings, the administration is able to do with a quick phone call. The difference being we, the students, pay to attend the university and use these rooms.

Don’t get me wrong – Dr. Ryan coming to campus was a fantastic thing, and a great event for all students. The speakers and events that occur on campus are exceptional learning opportunities, and are fantastic for both students and faculty and staff. But there is a problem that exceptions are made for members of the administration. Dr. Ryan is just as important as speakers that clubs host who are unable to halt construction.

Take another example: the Board of Governors. There is no doubt that this group of individuals plays an extremely valuable role in the workings of the university community. But every time they are on campus, everything shuts down. Until recently, student clubs and organizations weren’t able to have tables setup in Bartels; lights are changed and tiles are painted right before the BoG comes (but, mind you, not when it is just necessary throughout the year).

I’m not asking for a golden wand that solves all of UNH’s problems; there are certainly many more positive things going on with the campus than there are negatives — regardless of how much you claim is wrong. There are a large number of great faculty and staff, as well as administration, on campus that you can really tell cares a lot about the student body. But when administrators are treated as more important than the students, and when administrators can’t take the time out of their day to tell a student the time of day, there is a serious problem with parts of UNH administration.

So go ahead and shock them. Say “hello” as you walk by, and give them a big smile. I guarantee you one thing, as sad as it is. There are a number who won’t look up from their shoelaces.