Students are apathetic about campus politics

Carly Besser/The News
Carly Besser/The News

Carly Besser/The News

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.

The presidential search that took place at Murray State was historic. Since opening its doors in 1922, this institution has had twelve presidents in total.

The fact that we witnessed Robert Davies become the 13th president to govern this University is an opportunity Murray State students may not see for decades.

However, students seemed apathetic and uninformed about the process of his selection.

Open forums were held at Wrather West Kentucky Museum Monday and Tuesday for both candidates as a chance for students and faculty to familiarize themselves and ask questions about their policies.

From that point, they could draw their own conclusions about who would be the best fit for Murray State. Seats were filled with reporters, camera crews, faculty and staff. Students, however, were a different story.

The majority of students who attended the open forums were there because of a class obligation and had little interest in the issues or what the candidates had to say.

When it comes to selecting a presidential candidate, students are arguably the most affected group.

Davies’ ability to properly budget and represent the University in Frankfort determines whether or not we will see spikes in our tuition rates, cuts in our organizations and changes to our classes.

University presidents have a large amount of power and responsibility, so we needed a quality candidate to maintain our institution.

Murray State spent $137,00 of our money on the Witt/Kieffer Executive Search Firm to find the most qualified candidates.

Davies and candidate James Smith were nominated by the firm, and Davies’ $300,000 salary comes from our pockets.

Since we funded the search and provide the presidential salary, we should have felt more obligated to have a voice in determining who was fit for the job to run our University.

Our input had the potential to influence the final selection, but it’s difficult to know what students want when they are too uninvolved to have an opinion.

If we give organizations like the Board of Regents and the Student Government Association nothing to work with, they have no choice but to make important decisions without our regards.

We are now seeing the effects of bad budgeting from former president Randy Dunn. Because the budget was placed into the wrong hands, we are faced with the task of digging ourselves out of looming deficits.

We are losing an academic college, faculty positions are shifting and tuition rates will inevitably rise.

It seems beyond students’ concern, but this is the best time to educate ourselves, develop positions and fight for our best interests now that we have a president who promised to put us first.

Davies said he wanted a transparent relationship, similar to the one Miller developed, with the student body. He plans to share his plans of action with us openly.

The future should be an opportunity to let Davies know about our reactions and concerns to his decisions.

Our apathy toward University politics is affecting us. This is the time we need to wake up, become knowledgeable in the issues and prove that we have an affect on the outcome.