Opinion: Walk-out shifts student opinion

Since the beginning, I have been more skeptical of Students Stand Up and all of the students protesting University President Daniel Mark Fogel than anyone on campus. As of last Thursday, that has changed.I used to give Fogel and his administration the benefit of the doubt.I argued that he must have a vaild reason for the cuts. He is older, more educated and more experienced with University management than any of the students — I sincerely doubted that he wasn’t doing everything in his power to avoid lay-offs.I thought that the students   must be out of line. Can you blame me? Can you really say that UVM students don’t love to get fired up and take it to the streets? Were you there when Obama won the election?However, like I said, I just changed my mind. I now support the objectives of Students Stand Up, and I applaud them on their peaceful and effective protest.The walk-out had the perfect balance between emotional charge, objectivity and information.They provided alteternatives to Fogel’s plan, they provided evidence of his mismanagement and they provided examples of his greed.Now, trust me, my intuition was trying as hard as it possibly could to dismiss these radical claims that make Fogel seem unfathomably unreasonable, but then it dawned on me — the one simple question that vindicates every word that they say: where is Fogel?He has been more hidden than the KGB.Even when you find him, you can’t get a straight answer.  He dodges every question.At the Feb. 26 forum, when asked about alternatives to lay-offs, Fogel generalized about how he worked with “many people” to make these “tough decisions.”President Fogel, I want to think that you are not a greedy hypocrit but honestly, you have not given me or anyone on this campus a single word to make us believe otherwise.I suggest that you own up to your postion and start answering some of these questions. And I mean really answering: the kind of answering you learn in middle school where you have to restate the question, because every time you talk in circles and hide in your office you are one day closer to an official demand that you resign.