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The Blue & Gray Press | May 23, 2019

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Staff Ed: Students must make voice heard in search for new President

Staff Ed: Students must make voice heard in search for new President


The last academic year at the University of Mary Washington was filled with debate, feud, strife and tragic loss. It was very much a year for UMW to search for its new identity as we continue to improve, add and take away aspects of our university. The year was capped with a major announcement by President Hurley, announcing his intent to retire at the end of the 2016 spring semester. With his career nearing its end and a new president on the horizon, another opportunity for UMW to find its identity looms.

In anticipation for the upcoming presidential vacancy, the Board of Visitors and the Presidential Search Committee held a series of forums for members of the UMW and Fredericksburg community to voice their opinions on who the next president should be and what quality they should possess.

It is important for us as members of our community to realize the importance of the opportunity at hand. Too often, especially last year, students and faculty alike complained about issues yet did little to nothing to prevent the issue in the first place. In short, you lose your right to complain when you take no preventative action yourself.

On the UMW website, under the Presidential Search Committee webpage, there is a questionnaire available to everyone to fill out where you can share your thoughts so that those in charge may hear your opinions in a respectful, productive way.

Members of our community must recognize this opportunity as a once, in a lifetime chance to enact real, necessary change. We are a part of a generation of UMW students that is witnessing first hand the University’s shift into something different, for better or worse.

A year from now, the person who will be leading the charge for UMW’s rise up the ranks of schools in Virginia will be just starting their job and what we as members of this community do between now and then will be vital to the direction our University goes.

Much like it is our responsibility as members of a democratic system to vote in elections, it is our responsibility as members of the UMW community to voice our opinions in a productive manner. In this “identity crisis” we are going through, now is our chance to find our identity and put the events of last year behind us.