The Vermont Cynic

The administration must reprioritize


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The University has once again made a paramount decision without consulting some of the highest public tuition payers in the country: its students.

Every single first-year student who comes to UVM in August will be forced to live in programmed housing. This decision has already been made by the administration, despite their lack of a plan for how this is actually going to work.

Swiping your CatCard into your first-year residence hall and making your way into your first dorm room is one of the defining moments of a student’s entire college experience. The first taste of dorm life can be bitter or sweet, but it’s ultimately one of the first opportunities for a student to live as an individual.

Requiring these students to live in programmed housing strips them of their right to define their first-year experience for themselves. They may hate their roommate. They may hate their residence hall. They may hate their RA. But navigating these difficult waters during this unfamiliar period is a pivotal part of the adjustment to college.

This call was made without holding any form of fair process or inclusion of those who currently live on campus, those

who previously lived on campus, or the incoming class of students who will be forced into this system of programmed housing.

Further, in the new 695-bed first-year hall, entirely occupied by the Wellness Environment, students will be kicked out for their first conduct infraction. So far this year, five of almost 120 students in WE are on a waiting list to be removed from the community they call home.

The University has no plan for fair process for the program and its massive increase. Restorative justice is a pillar of residential life; the absence of justice is a contradiction to the institution’s foundation.

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The voice of the student body has been disregarded –the same voice that molded this University.

In 1991, the diversity requirement the University touts on its website was implemented when students of color demanded educational recognition. They were dragged by their arms from the president’s wing of Waterman during the second Waterman Takeover before the University took notice.

In 2014, the Cynic’s coverage of Sodexo’s egregious policies forced national changes.

In 2016, the Student Government worked tirelessly to restore essential reading days for the health and academic success of the student body after students expressed outraged.

UVM was founded and propelled by students. Students come here because they see the changes their predecessors have made and hear the empowered voices of those who call UVM their alma mater.

The students have always been the heart and core of this University. To cut down their ability to speak on changes affecting them would cut the geist of this institution.

The University has an obligation to not only listen to, but advocate for the voices of its student body. To have forgone these voices during the decision-making process is unacceptable.

The University needs to reconsider its priorities; it needs a student defined priority.

act on the collective voice of the student body rather than create a new face to change that student body.

The student who comes to UVM is empowered. The student who comes to UVM is diverse. The student who comes to UVM is passionate about their community, their surroundings, and each other. And the student who comes to UVM deserves to be heard.

We are not a type. We are a body — a 225-year-old student body that has been built and shaped by the strength of our diverse perspectives and our dedication to pioneering our own education. We will not be silenced now.

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
The administration must reprioritize