BY VALENTINA CAVAL
Justin Amann is not just another ESU Junior. He represents 6,778 students as the Student Senate President in this, his third year participating in the Student Senate.
With the fall semester wrapping up, Amann addressed the concerns of retrenchment that have been impacting his term, and his viewpoints on some key retrenchment highlights from this fall:
Q: Why has Student Senate not taken a stance on retrenchment?
A: I think we made it quite clear that there is a polarization on campus between the faculty, APSCUF, as well as the administration.
However, if we are saying that we are tired of the bickering and the politics that are being played if Student Senate takes a side it’s adding to that bickering. My executive board has come to the conclusion that we would not bring it to the Senate for a vote. We do not believe that is in the best interest of the students.
Q: As a representative of the student body at ESU what have you done to measure where students stand? Have you taken any polls? Where do the majority of the students lie?
A: To the literal question of have you taken any polls, No. The news of retrenchment is only 19 days old. We do not have a scientific poll.
On the other side for what we have done for students, I have a great team. And that team of people have been integral in hearing all students’ sides.
It’s important to get all sides of the issue, and make people knowledgeable. I have met with a lot of students to address their concerns.
Q: At a faculty forum a student asked a question addressing your impeachment. Several students have felt that Student Senate does not represent them well. What is your message to these students?
A: First of all, I do my job for them. I don’t this job for myself. I value their opinion.
If a student would feel so strongly that he would like to see me impeached from office, he has every right to do that. I am certainly disappointed that he would have that viewpoint. I would love to talk to that student, and hear what I could do better.
We could all do better at what we do. We need to continue to fight for our students need, and we welcome that.
Q: Do you think the APSCUF union is fighting more for the faculty, and less for the students?
A: I’m sure there is a mixture. I think it’s obvious that any collective bargaining unit is going to work to fight for what is in the best interest of the collective bargaining unit. There are certainly parallels that will work in the best interest of students.
Q: Taking away from your Presidential title, what are your personal thoughts on retrenchment as an ESU student?
A: I personally am really disappointed in a lot of our leadership on our campus.
The reason I say that is because as a student who pays good of money to go here I want to see that people are able to act as adults, and come to decisions, and create a university that can thrive now and in the future.
We need to start getting together on this. We need to be on one page, and move this university forward. It’s necessary for the faculty to be the strongest entity on our campus.
Q: Following up with your idea that it is necessary for the faculty to be the strongest entity on our campus, how do you address this in the 53 percent reduction in faculty in the Chemistry department?
A: Strongest doesn’t mean largest; bigger doesn’t mean better. If the administration is going to make cuts, what matters is that those two work together with how many faculty they have. I don’t care if it’s six, I don’t care if it’s nine, I don’t care if its 21. We need to find out how we can use those faculty in the best way to educate students.
Q: A survey was released on Monday that 191 faculty members participated in. In it President Welsh was viewed as an ineffective leader by 64.5 percent of those faculty members. What are your beliefs on President Welsh’s leadership?
A: In all of my time in meeting with her, and getting to know her. The President, wholeheartedly cares about students.
You could question her leadership; you could question her policy; you could question her procedures.
But one thing that I know is she is someone of strong moral character.
I think she is a strong person, and I think she is a great woman. I think she really wants to see ESU succeed in the future.
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