Don't worry, you can trust me. I'm not like the others.

Banned In China

Monday, September 8, 2008



For a few years after I graduated from college and before I went to law school I worked at Antioch College. I was in the Dean of Students Office (no more like a clerk). I was also active in organizing the secretarial staff. The secretarial staff was the last of the non-faculty groups at Antioch to be organized. We ended up as a local of the U.E. (very proud of that).

At any rate I learned a lot about the college/university and how it was organized and what was going on while I was there and had gone on in the recent past as far as the way the place was and I would have to guess is (until July of this year) run. One thing you should understand is that Antioch has had a well deserved reputation as a very progressive school.

When I was in college down the road at Wright State Antioch had had a student body of about 2,000 for a time. A student strike ensued because of the way the college was handling student loans. They would get students in from the poorest areas and get massive government grants (so I understand) for their first year. Then when the fed money dried up in the second year cut the kids loose.

The students went on strike and eventually about 3/4 of them withdrew. At no point did the administration listen to them nor did the administration try to cooperate with them to really work out their differences. They just stone walled and eventually got rid of the trouble makes, because the "trouble makers" left of their own accord.

There were other issues concerning the nationwide university system (which bled money from the Yellow Springs campus). But the fights seemed to be around those of us on the ground who could see the negative effect the policies of the administration were having on the school, in getting students and having enough money to keep running and the administration who would not listen to the employees and students and alumnae. This went on for many years. The administration made bad choices. Those bad choices were opposed by the Antioch community. The results of those bad choices were consistently reflected in the school's bottom line. Neither the real world results of the bad choices nor the criticism of the community had any effect on the people who ran the school.

Essentially, what ended up happening is that the administration forced through their policies regardless of what the folks who were doing the real work wanted and could see were the best for the school. There was no real negotiation with the community, and in the end I guess they ended up destroying the school.

I attempted to understand what they were doling and while they continued to do it at the time. It was obvious that what they were doing was in the end simply destroying the school. I was never able to understand. Quite frankly I'm still not able to understand.

I guess my point here is that I am not really all that dumb. I knew most of the people involved in running Antioch personally for a few years. I was never able to understand their complete and total refusal to face (what to me) was the simple fact that they were running the school into the ground and change.

So given that I've had that experience, I truly wish I could say that I am optimistic about our current rulers.

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