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Op Ed: I Don’t Normally Get Involved with These Sorts of Things, But


Photo credit: Sophia Berardinelli

My name is Brian Hippern, I’m an incoming junior at Emmanuel. I don’t normally get involved with these sorts of things, but being involved with the financially crippled art department, some of the recent decisions of the higher-ups at Emmanuel have made me worried for the future. I tried my best to be understanding of the poorly executed communication between all parties involved about the tearing down of Julie Hall. Waiting until the last possible minute to inform students that they might not have a place on campus is something I wouldn’t except from a semi-respected college, but that’s besides the point at hand. I understand that it’s about money. The students of this generation will inevitably become more and more suffocated with massive amounts of loans, and the few in charge will continue to expand their wallets. That’s fine with me, I’ve accepted that, but what I cannot accept, is when this greed gets in the way of my education.

Undoubtably there are plenty of sneaky, snake like moves going on behind the curtain. I’ve witnessed a few working in the art department. By the end of last semester students were scrambling for paper because funds wouldn’t allow the department to buy more. Our supplies are scarce, and our professors are desperate for students to say some good things on their course evaluations so that when the guillotine comes for their job, there might be a reconsideration. I’m worried for the art department and faculty even more now with the news of Dr. Fortin being denied tenure. Not being a history major, I only had to fill a requirement. However, instead of taking the easier way out with a one thousand level course I decided to take a two thousand level course taught by Dr. Fortin purely based on his excellent reputation amongst my peers. Dr. Fortin had the ability to communicate with students on a level that few professors can. His level of respect for students pushed everyone in the class to work harder and push themselves. As an art student, I don’t care as much about classes outside of the studio, but when a professor does his job as well as Dr. Fortin, he makes students care. Professors like this need to be celebrated and accommodated. Dr. Fortin is not a throwaway, recyclable professor. He is an outstanding example of what a professor should be. The mark of a great professor is when a student strives not for a grade, but to impress and make that professor proud, and that’s exactly what happened in Creating The Atlantic World. I may have not been the smartest in the class on the subject, but I tried as hard as I could, and if I had taken that same class with a different professor, I can’t say that I would have done the same.

I’ve come to terms with having an art department that spans one hallway while the science department has an entire building. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll be paying for my student loans until I’m 40. I’ve come to terms with going from Julie Hall into a downgraded dorm. I understand it’s all about money, but please Emmanuel, can we also make it even a little bit about integrity?

Brian Hippern ’18

Posted by on May 24, 2016. Filed under Around Campus,Opinions & Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.