Letter to the Editor: Human Destruction in Higher Education
*This is a letter to the editor and the views expressed in this are not necessarily the views of The Jambar.
Students — of all ages — do not merely learn from the classroom. We learn from our surroundings, society, the culture around us and from each other.
We, the university community at Youngstown State University, are learning that the end justifies the means, that power lies with the corrupt and that the self-serving individuals will rise to the top. We are learning that experience, accuracy and efficiency are no longer valued, and that respect and tolerance are required as homage to those who least deserve it.
“How are we learning all this?” you ask. One school of such learning is fostered by YSU’s Human Resource Department. This department neither values its employee resources, nor adheres to laws and contracts. In fact, HR relishes in making opponents of supervisors and employees and even maneuvers the unions against one another. This is not a department of resources; rather it is a fountain of human destruction.
This destruction is readily seen in the arbitrary placement and displacement of employees without qualifications to perform the jobs they are assigned to, as well as the protection, and often promotion, of those with poor performance records. This then manifests itself in squabbles among faculty, staff and administrators, and is a great disservice to our students. How is it that we naively believe the students are immune to the inner workings of the university? The students see and understand far more than most of us.
But what are we teaching in the process? Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders — literally. It is our graduates that will be making the decisions that govern our lives. Are we teaching them, and ourselves, well? For those students who manage to succeed, to push through and beyond the infighting, incompetency and apathy created by this human destruction, what will the outcome be? I pray they will utilize their knowledge and vast array of life experiences to build healthy and vital personal and business relationships that change the world.
As employees, we shouldn’t need to fight the system, fight to work under fair contracts, fight to do the right thing, fight for compliance to the law. Instead we should be able to focus on utilizing our efforts, talents and energy on serving our students. We have accepted complacency and have turned over our life decisions to others. It is difficult to accept that which is not truth, that which is not right. However, sometimes it is simply easier to believe the lies and to succumb to oppression. It is only by facing reality that we can move forward.
William Lloyd Garrison rightly stated, “Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril.” Corruption and oppression create a sense of unity of purpose against it, in solidarity. We, the faculty, staff and students of Youngstown State University will stand strong together in solidarity against the enemy within, and cause the leaders of tomorrow to rise up in hope, justice and righteousness. United in truth, we stand strong together, strong against all forms of destruction.
Laurie, an employee at Youngstown State University.