Thursday, February 25, 2021

New positions signal campus change

The students of Plattsburgh State don’t know who out of the five candidates will be the 11th president of the college, but they now know the position will be filled by a woman for the first time since PSUC opened its doors in 1890. 

PSUC has been left with multiple vacancies to fill since last semester: chief diversity officer which has been renamed vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, and college president. 

These are two of the most important positions at any college and should not be offered to just anyone. 

Throughout the semester, PSUC has been inviting students and faculty to open forums hosted by candidates where questions can be asked and the campus can get a sense of each of them

This is huge.

The graduating classes of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 will be the first groups of students in PSUC history to see a woman president in action.

Will some students or faculty have an issue with a female president? Will some faculty members be stubborn about working with a woman in the president’s office? Maybe. 

Of course not every single student and faculty member is going to like the new president, and that’s OK. 

However, a new college president is coming and no one can deny this. All five of the candidates were interesting and accomplished women, but one of them particularly caught the eye.

The first candidate was Lily Hsu, the current provost for Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Hsu stood out because of the personal story she told during her forum. 

She explained how her parents came to the United States as immigrants from North Korea. Hsu grew up in a place where very few looked like her family; similar to how several PSUC students feel when asked about inclusivity. 

This article is not an endorsement for Lily Hsu as college president but this is just one candidate who stood out. 

The position of vice president for equality, equity and inclusion has been left vacant since the spring 2018 semester. As of now, there are three candidates for the position, and the forums have all been conducted, so the only thing to do now is look over their resumes. 

Vice President for Student Affairs Bryan Hartman has emailed the resumes of each candidate and students should look over them if they haven’t already. 

PSUC is in desperate need of this position following the Maria Gates Snapchat fiasco of last year. 

Hartman has said the position is moving up to cabinet level meaning whoever fills the position will be on the president’s council. 

Students will return in the fall with new faces in the two most important and influential positions anyone can have at a college. It’s important we do two things: give them a chance, and hold them to an even higher standard than John Ettling and J.W. Wiley. 

We should give them a chance because everyone deserves a chance. Yes, we might not know them, but let’s get to know them.

Why should we hold them to a higher standard?

The candidates for chief diversity officer and president are fully aware of the college’s past. 

Because of this, past mistakes can not be made again so that the campus can continue to grow.  

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