Editorial – Decisions need community voices

UPJ officials dedicated a new memorial Nov. 11 for the victims of Sept. 11 and those who have died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The memorial is serene and unique, but it was also surprising and unexpected.

Many people did not even know the memorial existed until they read the front page of the Nov. 2 edition of the Advocate.

The sheer shock of new additions popping up on campus raises the question: who is deciding to do this?  Why is the community not more involved with the decision-making, especially when it involves spending money?

The gazebo was a poor investment.  Sure, it serves as a central point to hold infrequent events and as a site for a few lunch-eaters on nice-weather days.

However, it is almost useless, especially at a school where people stay indoors the majority of the months.

If only the board in charge of planning for and purchasing the gazebo would have consulted with students, staff and other community members first, then it could have been avoided.

How much money would have been saved can only be guessed.  Administrators were mum when asked.

UPJ does not receive endless amounts of money.  Purchases should be well-thought and purposeful.  The things that UPJ spends money on should reflect the academic needs and desires of the whole community of students, faculty and staff.

In order to get insight from those people, simple forums could be arranged.  It would be nice to have a town hall sort of meeting to address the ideas people have to enhance our campus.

Also, this newspaper can serve as a forum to at least imitate communitywide discussion.

A meeting would provide a chance to discuss ideas and analyze costs.  The new 9/11 memorial must have had some costs attached to it.

It seems unfair to withhold the costs of the additions from anyone curious enough to wonder about them.

There are other additions that could benefit students that may be far less costly than the decorations.

Essentially, bad ideas could be eliminated before it is too late.  An accumulation of ideas would be beneficial and might help counterbalance the tunnel vision our decision-makers have when deciding upon ways to spend money at UPJ.