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?