Friday, October 28, 2011

Sometimes No One Can Hear You Scream

Halloween; it’s a time for shivers and chills, ghosts and ghouls, and stories of things that go bump in the night. When I wrote “Someone to Watch Over Me,” it brought back fun memories and questioned what one believes about the unknown. Funny thing, life is full of the unknown and things that make you want to scream.

Imagine, if you will, that your Alma Mater, where you made friends, grew into an adult and realized your life’s ambition, was altered into something unknown. Imagine that the name of your school has been changed and no longer exists on paper, but only in memory. Imagine that seven out of the 17 possible majors that once existed were cut completely, including the one that gave you purpose. Imagine that almost all of the full time teaching staff were offered buyouts, some were fired, and others, forced into retirement. What would the outcome be to students because of this?

What would you do if you were told that lack of money was the cause for these changes while an outrageous salary was paid to the new president? Imagine that the school also had a 40 million dollar endowment with increasing enrollment every year. What if you are a parent of a child at this college and your child’s major is no more? What if you are paying for your child to attend other schools to complete the major while still paying tuition to the one? How would you like it if you were told about only some of the changes by way of a press conference? In other words, news at 11, hope you catch the broadcast.

In the court of public opinion and of the media, protests at Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina, have been portrayed as anger by the Alumnae for letting boys into a once all girl school. How simple, how neat. So many facts were left out of the media that it is almost shameful. Ironically, one of the members on the board of trustees is a news director at a prominent radio station and a correspondent for the local paper. Funny how the media failed to report that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools had found Peace non-compliant on 26 standards of the schools review due to not notifying the SACS of the impending changes. Things that make you go hmmmmmmm. The media has helped to fuel the story that “it’s about the guys,” but the reality is: it’s about the lies. (A slogan I take from a very creative Peace woman.)

Because of the manipulation of the facts by the media and those in charge at Peace, many have accused the Alumnae of Peace as being bitter, reverse chauvinistic, angry Southern belles. Well shut my mouth. Judging without facts and believing one source without looking into a situation is all too easy. When something means a great deal to you, you delve into the issue to find out all you can. It’s what responsible individuals normally do, isn’t it? Go ahead; imagine this happened at your school. Makes you want to scream, doesn’t it?

31 comments:

  1. Very well written Mary! And accurate too... This is NOT a gender issue; it is a CHARACTER issue. And the current administration is sorely lacking.

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  2. Your one of those moneyed women who are all sour grapes because they have no control. I am a scholorship student at Peace and I am grateful for all they have done. I don't know what you are talking about. They never lied and they did this for the good of the school. Get your facts straight, your wrong.

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  3. I have to agree. They would have to close the school if they didn't enlarge the student body of the day students. What do you want? To see Peace close forever or to have it live on?

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  4. Please understand that the facts given are documented and have been reported. Should you go to http://www.preservepeacecollege.com/ the links provided will take you to the documentation necessary to verify information I gave in our blog. I would also like to address that in inviting guys to the college, new sports programs will be needed. If the school is in such dire need of money that they would close down, where will the money come from to accommodate these new sports programs? Perhaps from the funding for scholarships? While I am happy that one of you has a scholarship, it is not prudent to make personal attacks or to write an opinion without the facts to back it up. That said, your should be You're, scholorship is scholarship and as far as "moneyed" is concerned, I've clipped so many coupons in my lifetime that I have the calluses to prove it, bless your heart.

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  5. Good job Mary! I for one would read the facts and maybe do research myself especially if I had a scholarship that I could possibly lose to a guy! It seems some aren't doing so and that is scary. However, when they lose their scholarship or at least part of it, maybe they will reflect on this and truly learn how real life is.

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  6. Disappointed that a scholarship recipient doesn't know how the word is spelled, nor the difference between "your" and "you're". As Peace heads down the path to becoming a for profit institution, academic standards will erode further.

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  7. Rosa, thank you for your earlier kind words. I think you said it best when you wrote that it wasn't a gender issue, but a character issue. I appreciate all the support that helps get the message out about Peace College.

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  8. It seems these girls at Peace have a lot to learn "bless their hearts"! I hope their parents are happy with the outcome. I know I wouldn't be, but then again my daughter will not be attending a school like Peace is becoming. So sad for the community and for all that Peace has stood for all these years.

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  9. I want Peace to live on, but in good standards not what is going on now. Please read the facts!

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  10. While I did not have the pleasure of attending Peace College, as a native of Raleigh and the friend of Peace College alumnae, I have followed the developments, and I have watched as the standard attacks and misinformation has flourished. Too many jump to conclusions on issues without receiving the facts or researching the concerns. Sadly even the moneyed media (moneyed as in - they make a living at reporting) do not always report the entire story. It behooves each of us to research, listen to others concerns, and keep an open mind. You're a better person when you're informed. Your mind becomes more open and aware. Thank you for a well written blog.

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  11. As a proud alumnae of Bryn Mawr, living in the triangle area, I have followed the news of the changes at Peace College with sadness. A single sex education allows women to learn without distraction, and being the only ones in the "classroom" we tend to be "called on," where as in a co-educational environment, we tend to be taken less seriously. This kind of education allows us to come into our own, if you will, and tends to make true leaders out of women. Now I understand that I never recieved the entire story from the media and it seems to be the school is headed into a for profit situation. How sad to lose quality for the sake of money. I believe you to be correct in this case. It is most definitely not about going co-ed, it's all about money.

    Margaret Haddinton

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  12. All girl schools are outdated. Join the 21st century will you and stop whining. The changes have come and you just need to accept it. What a bunch of losers.

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  13. I'm not surprised that someone who says that "all girl schools are outdated" without presenting any kind of argument for their case would also say that anyone who does not accept the change is a "bunch of losers." Ignorance is often very obvious to all except the ignorant one.

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  14. I wish Anonymous posters were outdated.

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  15. Thank you Evelyn, Ms. Haddinton and John. Your comments are greatly appreciated, as is your support. The issue at hand is a lack of integrity in an institution of higher education. If those who administer that facility can't be trusted to be truthful, where goes the quality of the education? It doesn't matter if the school is co-ed or not, what matters is the way in which the direction of the school is taken. Anyone can buy a diploma, but many would rather earn one.

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  16. If you think that single gender schools are outdated, then the answer is simple. Don't go to one!

    -Ayla Megan King c/o 2010

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  17. Thanks for all of your information. This is the second college that I attended that has changed the name after I graduated. I don't even feel like I have a alma mater anymore. Peace was the one true solid influence in my life that I can no longer call "home". I don't feel welcome there anymore thanks to the new administration. It's sad for all of the alumni.

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  18. What you fail to mention is that as recently as this Saturday, alum from Peace tried to disrupt a family weekend planned by the president of the school. Really, all of you women are shameful. The new president is trying to bring some good into the school. Wake up!

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  19. Anonymous,
    Quit hiding, identify yourself and own your words. Although, I am sure I could identify you in about 3 guesses.

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  20. I was there this past Saturday and we "alum" AND students were in no way trying to disrupt a family weekend! We were quietly standing outside of the front gates holding a candlelight vigil (for which we had a permit for). As I have said before..."YOU" choose what bothers you! But thank you for trying to make us look bad. FAIL
    Oh, by the way speaking of shameful...maybe you should check out the Peace College Legacy Page!

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  21. It IS a shame when attacking the character of those who wish to preserve tradition and integrity is called out in such a crass way. Should there have been a "disruption"
    (which there was not) I'm sure we would have heard about that in the media. Other than that, if you use words as your sword, be sure to sign your name.

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  22. I was there, we had a nice dinner, a lot of laughs, sharing, some brought their little girls (who by the way dream of growing up and becoming room mates like there very own mothers).What is the blessing of this is I have met sisters I never knew i had. We were not there to be disruptive but to stand for what is about to be lost ,for the voiceless students who are too afraid to speak. The only disruption was to us, by a guest of the college. We had proper permits and were within our consitutional rights. We love Peace and every girl with those walls!

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  23. It seems to me from all I've seen and read that the ones being disruptive are the ones currently in leadership at Peace College. It was always "quiet", respectful, friendly, and "PEACEful" there til this past year. I heard about the "CHOICES" that the students are to adhere to, I'd like to know what about the leaders? Wonder how SACS would feel about that?

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  24. Glenda Greenleese KiddooOctober 30, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    Anonymous = Coward.

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  25. Being a donor at the Presidential level every year since I graduated from Peace it pains me to have current students that seem to not be grateful for the very scholarships and the opportunities it gives them. The scholarships that are bettering your life were given to pass on the values, morals, experiences, and legacy that is Peace College. I made sacrifices as so many others have to ensure each year I could donate and better a Peace student. I feel as though alumnae have been treated horribly through out this entire ordeal. William Peace gave the land and created the mission, the alumnae learned this mission as students, and as alumnae have given so much to Peace in so many forms to maintain and preserve William Peace's vision.

    I was present at the vigil on Saturday embracing my Peace sisters to help ease the pain I feel each and every single day that the legacy I wanted to preserve and pass onto any young lady fortunate enough to attend Peace and learn and develop as her sisters before her did has been destroyed. I am thankful that the "anonymous" student posting here does not represent the entire student body. I am thankful that despite what all is happening at Peace that I have gotten to meet and help nurture students that would make William Peace proud. I hope for those that disagree with the legacy of Peace College that they at least be grateful for the sacrifices that were made before them to give them their opportunities.

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  26. Saying the president is just trying to bring some good into the school is implying that there was something wrong with the school to begin with. The school has done nothing but go downhill since DT took over. Adjuncts replacing full time professors, majors and programs being slashed, traditions being forgotten, and academic standards becoming basically non-existent.

    As for alumnae "disrupting" an event, all I can do is laugh. It is called exercising our rights as American citizens. :)

    -Ayla

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  27. Response to "trying to bring some good" comment:

    I'd like to know one "good" thing that the current president has brought to Peace College in her almost 1.5 years here in Raleigh. Is a significant cut of majors (while students were trying to complete them AND incoming students were signing up to complete them), professors, faculty/staff, students, and donors "good"? Is inappropriate LOL cat/text message publicity "good"? Are hasty decisions (made after students already paid non-refundable costs), false advertisement, shady business, SACS non-compliance, blatant lies, and shockingly poor implementation of radical and hasty curriculum and philosophy changes "good"? Are soundproofing of office and neglect of students/parents/alumnae "good"? Is blame of alumnae/donors for lack of financial support (supposedly single-handedly leading to the demise of Peace) while the current administration gambled what monies they do have on new staff members, departments, promotions, signage, name changes, etc. "good"? Are threats, cease-and-desist orders, and fear-inducing campus policies that target former staff/faculty, alumnae, and students "good"? These are just a few examples of the "goodness" currently being brought to Peace College.

    My fellow Anonymous-es, you can see for yourselves the full list of "good" implemented at Peace over the last year on the Preserve Peace Legacy website -- you have only to look. If nothing else, you'll have more educated ammunition the next time you seek to attack us "geniuses."

    Frankly, President DT's brand of "good" isn't good enough for Peace. The only disruption the other night to an otherwise calm, nostalgic, legal, and PEACEful gathering among friends and Peace sisters was a confrontation and intimidation tactic by the president's husband. Was he trying to bring "good" by calling out and attempting to silence a current student for standing alongside her Peace sisters? Were the current president and current staff members trying to bring "good" by openly and loudly mocking current paying students and alumnae for choosing to have their own event off campus? Truly, are all of above acts of "goodness" (and more) what Anonymous-es, the BOT, and President DT see as much-needed "good" for Peace?

    The proof is in the pudding, so forgive hundreds of us for not liking WPU's instant powdered box-esque pudding. As any good chef knows, it takes time, love, a good recipe, and much stirring to get a truly fantastic final product. As for "trying" to bring "good" -- well, if I may further be cheeky, a wise puppet once said: do or do not, there is no try.

    ~Anon.

    "For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." ~Virginia Woolf

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  28. See my reply below to the following post:

    "Your one of those moneyed women who are all sour grapes because they have no control. I am a scholorship student at Peace and I am grateful for all they have done. I don't know what you are talking about. They never lied and they did this for the good of the school. Get your facts straight, your wrong."

    If you want your opinions to ever be taken seriously, employ the correct use of proper grammar and contractions, along with correct spelling--particularly the word "scholarship." Also, remember that there are always varying, and sometimes opposing, opinions about everything. While it is duly noted, your opinion reflects a narrow and close-minded point of view. That type of thinking and demonstration of thought will not take you very far in life.

    See further below my reply to this response:

    "All girl schools are outdated. Join the 21st century will you and stop whining. The changes have come and you just need to accept it. What a bunch of losers."

    First, you are obviously not a graduate of a single-sex institution. Second, your anger is certainly visible and I hope you are able to get help for and resolve the source of that soon. Third, those who label others as whiners and losers are mirror images of their own accusations and self worth.

    C.L. Taft

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  29. You know what frightens me? The fact that my son wants to go there in the fall and is afraid that he is going to be punished by angry students who are not happy about the change.

    I don't disagree with your anger at all, but I do hope that it's not taken out on the young men who have chosen to attend. It would be sadly misdirected at the wrong individuals.

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