Resign Robert

The ethics of a decision made by a member of the Board of Advisors of BSAD may soon be studied by students at Dartmouth and Bentley College, according to a recent AP news story. Despite requests from mental health advocates to discontinue selling a teddy bear in a straight jacket, Elisabeth Robert (’84), CEO of The Vermont Teddy Bear Company, refused to do so until none were left in her inventory. “We’re not in a position to be told what we can and cannot sell,” Robert said. UVM’s mission includes fostering recognition of ethical and social responsibility and its values include a willingness to address difficult societal issues with civility. Reconciling Robert’s intolerance for the mentally ill and UVM’s values is difficult. Even a student in his first class in Kalkin Hall realizes that problems resulting from untreated mental illness, such as increased jail populations and homelessness, will not be taken seriously when mental illness is portrayed as “cute”. Although BSAD “commits itself to a special obligation to serve the citizens of Vermont,” it is unlikely the mentally ill of Vermont feel well served by Robert. Because she does not exemplify the ideals of the university, Robert should be asked to resign by President Fogel and Dean Rocki-Lee DeWitt.William Estes has a sister with schizophrenia who has been hospitalized three times. Each hospitalization was extremely painful for his sister and family.PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF AND WHEN THIS WILL BE PUBLISHED. THANKS!!