Editorial Issue 9: Rethinking transparency

As the news section of The Bucknellian has reported, April 1-3 marked the unofficial “House Party Weekend” three years after President John Bravman discontinued the official school-sponsored events that had been a University tradition. The fact that underground social events have remained popular on campus in these past three years raises questions regarding the state of the relationship between University students and the administration.

Aside from House Party Weekend, student dissatisfaction with the Office of Housing Services, the Office of Global & Off-campus Education, and several other campus offices have brought attention to the issue of a disconnect between students and the administration.

This discontent appears to stem from a lack of transparency and communication. Failing to address House Party Weekend, whether or not it is University-sponsored, won’t make the events disappear. Rather, open communication regarding the reality of social life both on campus and downtown is imperative to the safety of students and the local community. On the part of students, viewing the administration as an ally rather than an enemy is also necessary.

Similarly, Residential Advisors (RAs) act as a link between students and the University as a whole, which is a high-pressure job. The idea that RAs have to “pick sides” between students and the school increases this rift.

Since class sizes are small and it is relatively easy for students to become involved on a smaller campus like the University through student media, student government, and other organizations, an open relationship with faculty, staff, and administrators is definitely feasible. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of both students and the administration to create a sense of openness and transparency on campus. If the administration openly communicates with students regarding everything from House Party Weekend to housing to course schedules, students will be much more likely to work within the University’s policies.

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