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  #1  
Old 01-28-2008, 01:32 PM
Paul Bertolini's Avatar
Paul Bertolini Paul Bertolini is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 18
Default Get Your Heads Out of Your...

This has to be a joke! Neal comes on here and posts some complaints about Drew, in the Drew "Gripes" forum and everyone jumps all over him about it.

I think many of his complaints are legitimate, and I applaud him for encouraging change rather than being complacent. Sure, you all can argue with him and defend Drew, or you can side with him and make our university even better. Improvement and change is brought on through complaining. So instead of giving Neal a hard time and arguing with him, why not accept the validity of his statements and work to improve our campus and our education.

As for the SGA people posting in Neal's thread I have something to say to you:
1/3 of the student body voted for you. You have marginal power, little support and your performance has been less than adequate.
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2008, 05:10 PM
Yasin B. Abbak
 
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My post was not from the viewpoint of the SGA. I am not a part of the SGA. I was letting Neal know what the different avenues he could take were in order to bring his points to light.
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2008, 12:10 AM
Ethan G. Marsh Ethan G. Marsh is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Default Re: Get your heads out of your...

I'm not a Drew student any longer (I graduated last spring) so I've avoided weighing in on these gripes threads until now. This stuff really isn't my problem anymore, and I'm sure few people want to hear from someone who's not directly impacted by these issues. However, in the name of common sense and clear reasoning, I feel compelled to break my silence on this one.

First, I must point out that Neal encouraged people who replied to his post to "rip into" him. And even still, the replies were quite tame and reasonable, so I'm not sure why exactly you're displeased with the reaction.

Second, while you are correct that Neal had some legitimate complaints, he also had some illegitimate complaints, and at least one statement that was flat out wrong, as was pointed out to him. So I'm sure you'll forgive me and others if we don't simply "accept the validity of his statements" without question. Some of his statments were right, some of them were wrong, but all of them are open to question. He should have no problem defending the validity of his complaints if they are valid, and to his credit he apologised for his error.

Third, your statement that improvement and change is brought on through complaining worries me. I'm pretty sure improvement and change is actually brought on through hard work and perserverence. Blind complaining is so easy. Figuring out how to address a problem and then doing something about it is much more difficult. The fact is, Neal's post left me with the impression that he is more the blind complainer type and less the thinker and doer type. I say this for a number of reasons.

One is that he did not do very good research. If he had, he would have known that Drew does, in fact, have a discount program with local businesses. So right away his credibility takes a hit with anyone who's educated on this issue. When I read this complaint, my first thought is that this is someone who doesn't read the information that Drew provides at orientation, in daniel's dictionary, and in campuswide emails. If he can't bother to keep informed, why should I waste my time trying have a discussion with him? I don't say this to be mean, but first impressions are extremely important. You have to make a good one if you want people to take you seriously.

Another problem is exemplified in his complaint about the lack of a football team. Neal's points are valid; having a football team would have many positive effects. However, he completely failed to aknowledge the fact that there are drawbacks as well. Some of those who "argued" with him and "jumped all over him", as you put it, pointed out some of these drawbacks. Neal replied with good intentions, but showed no understanding of the issues. His rebuttle to the argument that a football team would change the academic dynamic of the school was: "Sooo many schools have football teams, even liberal arts". You'll have to forgive me if I'm not blown away by the force of this argument. If you stop and think about it for a few minutes, you should realize that a football team would be a huge change here, and not all changes would be positive for everyone. Many students chose Drew in part because there is no football team (I am not one, but I sympathize with that viewpoint). Maybe that sounds crazy to some people, but its true. And given that so many other schools do have football, I have to wonder why Neal even came to Drew if that is such a big issue for him. There are some things at Drew that are "bad" and need fixing, and then there are things that are a matter of personal preference and don't really need fixing, though of course they are always open to debate. The distinction is extremely important, and it seems it is often lost on many people who lodge complaints, much to my dismay. If you're focused on improving Drew for everyone, great. If you're focused on making Drew conform to your personal interests, less great. That's what clubs are for.

I do not mean to pick on Neal, of course. He seems like a nice person and he clearly has good intentions. He is trying to start a club and that is EXTREMELY commendable, and I wish him luck with that. A film club would be awesome. That being said, his style hardly rouses me to action on any of the issues he raised. What Drew needs is not more complaints, there are plenty of those to go around. What Drew needs are more students who are willing and eager to sit down and really learn about what the problems are and where they come from. To that end, I suggest to Neal and others who have complaints a more effective way to use this forum. Instead of simply writing up lists of things that are wrong, pick one thing, or maybe two. And when people reply, keep in mind that generally, they are responding to the actual issues that were raised and not just mindlessly defending Drew on general principle. Sometimes they may agree that something is a problem, sometimes they may not. But disagreeing with someone about what is and is not really a problem is not the same as "defending" Drew. Drew needs no defense. Drew needs action, but it needs it in intelligent and effective directions. Everyone on this forum wants Drew to be a great place to go to school, even those who think few if any changes are needed. Their voice is important and relevent too.

Finally, a bit about the SGA, since you mentioned it. People always complain that the SGA does practically nothing. The SGA always claims it is the best place to go to enact change. Both sides severely overstate their cases, in my view. But addressing SGA members and reminding them how little power they have and telling them their performance has been less than adequate is probably one of the least constructive things you can do. Please don't get caught in the trap of thinking that dissing the SGA will help anything. All it will do is convince SGA members that you are someone who would be difficult to work with, which won't help anything. It's good to state that you are disgruntled, but this is an elected body. Their response is always going to be "if you're unhappy, run for office, or vote for someone who represents your interests, or show up to an SGA meeting and make suggestions" and they have a point.

Now, if you had some plan for an effective replacement of the SGA, I'm all for that, although that path has been tried with little success in the past (and I don't encourage anyone to venture into that black hole unless they are willing to get the uholy hell beat out of them along the way). And, for the record, in this country, 1/3 of the electorate is pretty damn good support, actually.

Just my two cents.

Last edited by Ethan G. Marsh : 01-29-2008 at 12:14 AM.
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